Bones found on the Isle of Wight belong to a new dinosaur species

Hyperaxion Aug 13, 2020

Named Vectaerovenator inopinatus, it was a theropod dinosaur and a relative of Tyrannosaurus rex.

From the analysis of four bones found on the Isle of Wight, England, scientists at the University of Southampton, UK, discovered what appears to be a new species of theropod dinosaur, a group that includes Tyrannosaurus rex and modern birds. The research will be published in the journal Papers in Palaeontology.

Bones found on the Isle of Wight belong to a new species of dinosaur
An artist’s impression of the new species. (Credit: Trudie Wilson).

The bones are from the neck, back, and tail of a single dinosaur, named Vectaerovenator inopinatus. The bones are pneumatic, they contain air sacs (just like in modern birds), which make the skeleton lighter.

Two of the bones were discovered by chance by fossil hunters: Robin Ward and James Lockyer. From the analysis, the researchers concluded that the animal lived in the Cretaceous period, 115 million years ago, and was up to 4 meters long.

(Credit: Darren Naish).

“Although we have enough material to be able to determine the general type of dinosaur, we’d ideally like to find more to refine our analysis. We are very grateful for the donation of these fossils to science and for the important role that citizen science can play in palaeontology,” said Chris Barker, leader of the study.

The bones will be on display at the Dinosaur Isle Museum at Sandown, England. According to Martin Munt, curator of the exhibition, paleontologists will make more field trips and the institution will encourage visitors to search for unusual fossils.

“This is yet another terrific fossil find on the Island which sheds light on our prehistoric past,” said John Hobart, a member of the Isle of Wight Council Cabinet.

Related topics:

Cretaceous dinosaur

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