Paleontologists at the University of Southampton believe the four bones found last year on the Isle of Wight, Shanklin, England are fossil skeletons belonging to a group of theropod dinosaurs. It lived in the Cretaceous period, about 115 million years ago, and is estimated to have a length of up to 4 meters.
Named Vectaerovenator Inopinatus, this dinosaur belongs to a group of dinosaurs that are similar to Tyrannosaurus rex (T-Rex) and modern birds.
Launched by the BBC on Thursday (13/8/2020), the name refers to the large air sacs found in several bones on its body, starting from the neck, back and tail, which is one of the features that helps scientists identify the origins of fossils found. presumably these theropod species.
These air sacs, also seen in modern birds, are extensions of the lungs. It is known that “it is likely that the sac is useful to help promote an efficient respiratory system which makes the frame lighter,” said a representative at the University of Southampton.
Found In 3 Different Findings
The fossils were found in three separate discoveries with different people in 2019 and submitted to the Dinosaur Isle Museum in Sandown, where the fossils are on display.
Robin Ward, a fossil hunter from Stratford-upon-Avon, was visiting Isle of Wight with his family when they found the fossil. “The excitement of finding fossils is absolutely fantastic,” he said.
James Lockyer, from Spalding, Lincolnshire, was also known to be visiting the island when he found another bone. “It looks different from the marine reptile vertebrae I have encountered in the past. I was looking for a place in Shanklin and was told I would not find much there. However, I always made sure I was looking in areas other people did not know, and at this opportunity my struggle paid off. ” he explained.
Paul Farrell, from Ryde, who is also one of the people who found the fossil explains how he found the fossil “I was walking along the beach, kicking a rock and found what looked like bone from a dinosaur. I was very surprised to know it could become a new species.”
Airspace Full Framework
Chris Barker, who led the University of Southampton study, said: “We were surprised by how hollow the animal was. Part of its skeleton was full of air space.”
It is known, the record of theropod dinosaurs from the ‘middle’ Cretaceous period in Europe is not very good, so it is very interesting if these fossils can increase the understanding of researchers about the diversity of dinosaur species from this time.
“You don’t usually find dinosaurs kept at Shanklin, because they would normally be placed in marine habitats. You are more likely to find fossils of oysters or driftwood, so this is indeed a rare find.”
It is likely that the Vectaerovenators lived in the northern, hidden places that were hard to find, with the carcasses having washed into the nearby shallow sea. The findings will be published in the journal Papers in Palaeontology and co-authored by those who discovered the fossil.