Say hello to a new species of toothed dinosaur, Vectaerovenator surprised. Discovered after a series of accidental fossils found on Isle of Wight in England, it is thought to date back about 115 million years ago, during the Cretaceous period.
The new dinosaur’s Latin name roughly refers to the ‘unexpected air hunter from the Isle of Wight’, giving you some idea of how and where to find it, what kind of dinosaur it is, and paleontologists were able to figure out what they were dealing with.
All four found fossils are hollow or “air-filled”, which points to the animal’s sophisticated structure and classifies it as arthropods, along with other dinosaurs such as Tyrannosaurus rex and the ancestors of modern birds.
Paleontologist Chris Barker from the University of Southampton in the UK said: “We are amazed at how hollow this animal is – it has holes in the air.” “Parts of its skeleton have to be quite fragile.”
“The European Mid-Cretaceous record of arthropods is not that great, so it is really interesting to be able to improve our understanding of dinosaur species’ diversity from time to time. this point. “
Four key fossil fragments in the new study were found in three discoveries – two by individuals and one by a family group – on the Shanklin Coast in the Isle of Wight. Those who found the fossil were also named as co-authors on a new paper on the upcoming findings.
After the fossils are handed over to the Dinosaur Island Museum in nearby Sandown, experts have to work to try to identify them and put them together – and that’s when they realize they are having to deal with. with a new species and a new genus.
Although the Isle of Wight is famous for its dinosaur relics, the ground where fossils were found included undersea sediments – somehow this particular terrestrial dinosaur found its way to a flooded grave.
“You usually don’t find dinosaurs in the Shanklin mines when they are placed in marine habitats,” Barker said. “You’re more likely to find fossilized oysters or driftwood, so this is truly a rare find.”
That rarity, coupled with the resemblance of the skeletons, suggests that they were both of a single animal. Using comparative anatomical techniques, Barker and his colleagues were able to identify the type of dinosaur they were dealing with, as well as what made it different from other species.
However, with only four more sections left, the researchers are looking for additional material to be more sure Vectaerovenator surprised was once a living, breathing creature – thought to reach 4 meters or 13 feet in size.
If you find yourself walking on Shanklin Beach, keep an eye out: not only can you help unravel a part of the European dinosaur profile we know so little about, you might also discover a whole new thing.
James Lockyer, a frequent fossil hunter from Lincolnshire, UK, who found one of the fossils during a visit to Isle of Wight said: “It looks different from the vertebrates of the sea reptile I have seen in the past. past.
“I was looking for a place in Shanklin and was informed and read that I wouldn’t find much there. However, I always make sure I look for areas that others are not looking for, and On this occasion, it paid off. “
Research has been submitted for publication in Papers in Paleontology.