New Type Of Dinosaur Related To T-Rex Discovered In UK
All the dinosaurs feared the T-Rex… however, a new species related to the iconic creature has been discovered in the UK.
Last year, four mysterious dino bones were found as part of three separate discoveries at Shanklin, on the Isle of Wight.
After studiously analysing them, paleontologists from the University of Southampton believe they belong to a brand new species of therapod dinosaur.
The species, henceforth named Vectaerovenator inopinatus, lived during the Cretaceous period around 115 million years ago. Unlike the Tyrannosaurus Rex’s monstrous size, it’s only estimated to have been around four metres long, belonging to a group that includes the T-Rex and modern-day birds – just like Alan Grant said.
Its name references the extensive air sacs found in several bones that ‘helped fuel an efficient breathing system while also making the skeleton lighter’, according to the university.
Chris Barker, who led the University of Southampton study soon to be published in Papers in Palaeontology, told BBC News:
We were struck by just how hollow this animal was – it’s riddled with air spaces. Parts of its skeleton must have been rather delicate.The record of theropod dinosaurs from the ‘mid’ Cretaceous period in Europe isn’t that great, so it’s been really exciting to be able to increase our understanding of the diversity of dinosaur species from this time.
You don’t usually find dinosaurs in the deposits at Shanklin as they were laid down in a marine habitat. You’re much more likely to find fossil oysters or drift wood, so this is a rare find indeed.
One of the fossils was found by Robin Ward, a keen bone-digger from Stratford-upon-Avon, who had been visiting the Isle of Wight with his family. ‘The joy of finding the bones we discovered was absolutely fantastic,’ he said.
James Lockyer, from Spalding, Lincolnshire, was searching a spot at Shanklin after others told him it was pretty much empty. ‘I always make sure I search the areas others do not, and on this occasion it paid off,’ he said.
Paul Farrell, from Ryde, wasn’t so much of a fossil enthusiast – his discovery was pure happenstance. ‘I was walking along the beach, kicking stones and came across what looked like a bone from a dinosaur. I was really shocked to find out it could be a new species,’ he explained.
The remains were handed in to the nearby Dinosaur Isle Museum at Sandown, where they’re currently being displayed for the public. Researchers believe the creature lived just north of where the bones were found.
Perhaps in the future, the Isle of Wight will be transformed into a real-life Isla Nublar.
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