Not far from Storr and Kilt Rock on Scotland's Isle of Skye, just down the path from the Quiraing (which you can see behind the buildings in the image above), is the district of Staffin. Aside from being at least as picturesque as any other settlement on Skye, Staffin is also the hot spot on Skye (and Scotland in general) for dinosaur fossils and footprints.
Several bones and fragments have been found in this area, beginning with a single 49cm-long footprint in 1982.
Since then, several several other footprints have been found in the rocks of nearby beaches, including of those of an animal that may have been a Megalosaurus, a large carnivorous theropod that was six to nine meters (or metres, depending on your location) long.
Other specimens found in this area include several small prints ranging from about 7 cm down to a positively tiny 1.7 cm (that's about two-thirds of an inch for us behind-the-trend folks in America). That put Skye in the Guinness Book of World Records as the site of the smallest dinosaur footprints ever found. Recent discoveries in China saw some challenge that claim, but at a reported 2cm, it seems the Chinese prints are a few feather-widths larger. So Skye retains its claim to the tiniest rawrasuarus feets ever found, along with so many other things this stunning isle has going for it.
For more on Skye's finer dino details, check out this excellent piece by Dr Neil Clark,curator of Palaeontology at the University of Glasgow. He knows quite a bit about this subject, as he's the person who discovered the tiny prints in 2004 at Score Bay, near Duntulm Castle.
I've yet to make it to the beaches to try and find some of Sky's dinosaur prints myself, but that's something I plan to rectify on my next trip, in May of 2017.
Now, if the above paragraphs and the whole of this site didn't make it abundantly clear, two of my favorite things in the whole of existence are Scotland and dinosaurs. So when my wife and I were driving back to the Stein Inn in 2016 and I spotted the small Staffin Dinosaur Museum, I skidded to a stop and squealed like a giddy Ichthyosaur. (Skidded into a pull-off, by the way. Safety first!)
My wife decided to avoid my further high-pitched Mesozoic exultations and waited in the car, soaking up some of the hour or so of total sunshine we experienced on that three-week trip to the Highlands and Islands.
Now, to anyone who's been to the massive Natural History Museums in New York or London, what's here might no seem like a whole lot. But it's all laid out like someone's garage sale, in a way that makes the fossils and casts seem more immediate, more real, than the experience at most larger museums.
Plus, the Staffin Dinosaur Museum is housed in a charming stone building that's probably older than a few greats of an old man's grandfather.
I bought a poster of the dinosaur prints. Because how could I not? Dinosaurs plus Skye equals the best damn math problem ever.