Valentia Trackway

Voted Ireland's Favourite Fossil 2022

How to recognise them

Regularly spaced shallow depressions forming a trackway.


Fossil Info

The Valentia Tetrapod Trackway is most famous because it is one of only three trackways in the world made by early land animals during the Devonian (ca. 400 million years) Period. On Valentia Island there are in fact almost 20 trackways preserved in different rock layers laid down in a swampy area beside a river channel. The longest trackway has more than 145 imprints of the feet of an early amphibian, and the smaller forelimb prints can be distinguished from the larger hindlimb prints. Some of the shorter trackways show traces of a tail being dragged along the silty mud. 


Fun Fact

This fossil locality was discovered by a Masters student from Switzerland while doing fieldwork in Ireland.


Read more about these trace fossils here

Ireland's Fossil Heritage

School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences, University College Cork, Distillery Fields, North Mall, Cork, T23 TK30,