Dinosaur footprints found near Inverness are believed to be the first evidence the prehistoric beasts roamed the Scottish mainland.
The 170 million-year-old prints were discovered in sandstone and reveal a foot, heel and four toes.
Dr Neil Clark, vice president of the Geological Society of Glasgow, told HuffPost UK: “The footprints are the first evidence of dinosaurs found on the Scottish mainland. All the other discoveries are from the Hebrides Basin and in particular the Isle of Skye.
“The interesting thing about the discovery is that these are the first from the Moray Basin to the east of Scotland and help to build a clearer picture of dinosaurs living here during the Middle Jurassic. Middle Jurassic dinosaurs are scarce worldwide and Scotland is one of the top few localities despite the poor exposure of rocks of that age.”
Dr Clark is now crowdfunding in order to undertake a project to map the prints using a drone, and to take measurements of the effects of erosion on the footprints by stormy seas.
He said the find is likely to be considered globally important as it is rare evidence of the Middle Jurassic period, from which few fossil sites have been found around the world.
In April, dozens of newly-discovered giant dinosaur footprints were found in a muddy lagoon off the north-east coast of what is now the Isle of Skye.
The tracks, which are the same age as the ones found on the mainland, were made by the “older cousins” of Tyrannosaurus rex, called theropods – which stood up to two metres tall – and by similarly long-necked sauropods.