Tetrapod Trackway – The Oldest footprints in the world
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.
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