Retracing 385-Million-Year-Old Amphibian Steps in Co. Kerry, Ireland
Sometime around the Middle Devonian, there was a lonely tetrapod (a four-legged amphibious creature), who pulled himself out of the ocean on Valentia Island, with little knowledge that someday his slither marks would form the most impressive and complete "trackway" in the world. One of the earliest signs of terrestrial vertebrate life, you can freely walk along the tracks without threat of museum curator or guard. Scientists say the size and configuration of the overlapping prints suggests that the animal was one meter in length with a belly and tail long enough to drag on the ground. While the spray of the Atlantic keeps a steady stream of slippery slime oozing out from the footprints, in this verdant coastal wonderland, you’re sure to agree that if you had been one of the first creatures to set foot on land, you'd probably have chosen the west coast of Ireland, too.