Researchers discover new species of Theropod dinosaur in the UK

Researchers discover new species of Theropod dinosaur in the UK
Image from Pixabay

A new species of dinosaur has been discovered on the Isle of Wight in the United Kingdom

Research conducted by scientists at the University of Southampton suggests that fossils recently found on the British island belong to a new species of a Theropod dinosaur, a suborder of the animal kingdom that includes tyrannosaur and modern birds.

Scientists believe the four fossilized bones were part of the neck, back, and tail of a previously unknown dinosaur that lived in the Cretaceous period 115 million years ago

The prehistoric animal, whose remains were found on Shanklin Beach in 2019, is estimated to be about four meters tall, a university report detailed.

The new dinosaur was named Vectaerovenator Inopinatus. The chosen name refers to its large air spaces, one of the traits that helped palaeontologists identify its origins and classify it as a theropod. 

“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,” said Chris Barker, a doctoral student at the university, who led the study to be published in the journal Papers in Palaeontology.

These air sacs, also present in the bones of modern birds, were extensions of the lung, whose probable main functions were to help feed an efficient respiratory system, as well as to make its skeleton lighter.

Although they were found by three different fossil collectors, with intervals of several weeks between findings, the fossils probably belong to the same animal. Scientists believe that the dinosaur lived in an area just north of where its remains were found.

The Isle of Wight, on the south coast of the United Kingdom, is known as one of the leading locations of dinosaur fossils in Europe. The bones of the newly discovered Vectaerovenator inopinatus will be displayed at the Dinosaur Isle Museum, an island museum that houses a collection of international importance.

The Isle of Wight, on the south coast of the United Kingdom, is known as one of the main locations for dinosaur fossils in Europe. The bones of the newly discovered Vectaerovenator inopinatus will be displayed at the Dinosaur Isle Museum, an island museum that houses a collection of international importance.