Trace fossil footprint

Additional images

Impossible print

Is this a dinosaur footprint or is it not? The left toe looks identical to Iguanadon prints elsewhere in this database while the middle toe looks vey like a carnivorous dinosaur toe. There is a suggestion of a third toe on the right hand side. The other side of the block has a perfect ripple surface, so the environment in which the sediments formed was just right for dinosaur footprint preservation, that is, soft sediments in shallow water. Trouble is, this is from the Mid Triassic when there were no large dinosaurs to make a print like this, as far as we know. The alternative is that it could be a ‘sole mark’ made by a water current that scoured the sediment or a ‘load cast’ made as the sediments became copressed. Experts are split down the middle between those that think it is a dinosaur footprint and those that do not. If this ‘print’ was in the Purbeck Beds we would all agree that it was made by a dinosaur!


Common name

Trace fossil footprint


Trace Fossils


Otter Sandstone

Time period



230 million years

Where found

Approximately 800 m west of Sidmouth

Found by

Richard Edmonds


Sidmouth Museum

Accession number