Capturing the world with Photography, Painting and Drawing

Tetrapod Trackway – The Oldest footprints in the world

The oldest footprints in the world 2
Valentia Island coast line, county Kerry
Irish landscape photography : Nigel Borrington

Last year while staying in county Kerry for a holiday and on a walk around the coast line of Valentia Island we came across a sign for a Tetrapod track way and just had to go and have a look. The Track-way is down a path to the rocky sea front and ends at a rope that you stand behind to view the footprints in the rock.

It is a little difficult at first to see the prints but if you wait for the right light you can see them very clearly. Its hard to imagine the significance of these prints, about 350 millions years ago a four legged Tetrapod took a walk along a beach and left its prints in the sand this sand then over millions of years turned into rock that now resides thousands of miles away from it original location, forming the west coast of Ireland.

The only four legged animal this day was our dog Molly who as you can see just had to go and have a look at the remains her ancestor’s left.

Tetrapod Track-way


The Tetrapod imprints are thought to date from Devonian times – somewhere between 350 and 370 million years ago. This site is of international significance as it represents the transition of life from water to land – a momentous turning point in evolution and provides the oldest reliably dated evidence of four legged vertebrates (amphibians) moving over land. The Valentia Island Tetrapod footprints are the most extensive of the four Devonian trackways in the world. (The others are in Tarbet Ness, Scotland; Genoa River, NSW Australia; Glen Isla, Victoria Australia). Access to the track way is by a pathway down to the rocks.

Tetrapod footprints, Gallery

The oldest footprints in the world 7

The oldest footprints in the world 3

The oldest footprints in the world 4

The oldest footprints in the world 5

The oldest footprints in the world 6

The oldest footprints in the world 1

11 responses

  1. Perhaps someone will find Molly’s tracks in 350 million years.

    February 27, 2014 at 2:23 pm

    • Hello πŸ™‚

      Yes , Hahaha !!

      Maybe !!

      She will have them all wondering what she looked like , Artists doing their best to illustrate her πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

      Great comment πŸ™‚

      Thank you !!!

      February 28, 2014 at 12:13 am

      • Yes, I would love to see that picture. I remember a dinosaur book I loved as a kid. It had the most colorful pictures of dinosaurs They looked fantastic, probably wrong, but still fantastic!

        February 28, 2014 at 12:28 am

  2. We never get sick of learning about these ancient creatures, eh, Nigel? – excellent shots!

    February 27, 2014 at 5:20 pm

  3. Fascinating post Nigel.

    February 27, 2014 at 10:12 pm

    • Hello πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

      Very pleased that you enjoyed the post πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

      Thank you for your comment πŸ™‚

      February 27, 2014 at 11:18 pm

  4. Beautiful images. I love fossils. Some believe many fossils were formed during the Great Flood.

    March 1, 2014 at 2:25 am

  5. poppytump

    Glad you inserted the little tetrapod picture Nigel πŸ™‚
    Looks like you and Molly had the pleasure of examining these ancient tracks to yourselves …
    What a beautiful location .

    March 1, 2014 at 6:10 am

  6. Stunning images and what a amazing story! How cool to walk alongside prehistoric footprints and imagine what their maker was thinking!!

    March 1, 2014 at 8:18 am

  7. Very interesting post, Nigel.

    To think about the implications and then be able to stand right next to the tracks must boggle the mind!

    πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

    March 1, 2014 at 2:41 pm

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