One of the things I most wanted to see on Skye were the dinosaur footprints at Staffin Bay. There are a few photos available on the net but most people don’t reveal their exact location in order to preserve them, so we knew we’d have to search. The best ones are apparently on the beach near the boat ramp and are most easily seen when the winter storms have scoured off the sand.
When we got there the sea was too far in to go down the ramp, so we had a look at the exposed mudstone on the beach at the opposite side of the harbour. I’m pretty certain that we found some tracks although they were a bit messy, as if the Dino had stood around for a bit. The best footprint we found- see the photo above – was very similar to this one from Staffin – below -which is on the web:-
There is something completely mind blowing about standing where a dinosaur stood 170 million years ago – this was during the Jurassic period! When this footprint was laid, the beach was the edge of a lake located somewhere around the equator. The mud dried out a little, was covered in sand – which preserved the tracks, and then they both eventually became layers in a series of sedimentary rocks.
Staffin Bay is also an important mesolithic site, as a community lived in the caves under the cliffs. These are some way back from the sea now.
Further south along the coast are the famous Kilt Rocks and the waterfall (below) Staffin is a Viking place name which means ‘the place of pillars,’ referring of course, to the basalt columns which form the cliffs. I should think it is also the reason the Island of Staffa got it’s name!
In the car park by the waterfall is a sign welcoming people to ‘the dinosaur stamping ground of Scotland’ and a wonderful set of paving stones which illustrate some dinosaurs common in the area during the Jurassic and their footprints. The worlds smallest dinosaur print was found near here in 2004.