Science

Scientists identify bones of new dinosaur related to T-rex

Hemani Sheth Mumbai | Updated on August 12, 2020

Palaeontologists at the University of Southampton are researching four bones belonging to a new species of theropod dinosaur, that were found recently on the Isle of Wight.

Theropod dinosaurs include the Tyrannosaurus rex and modern-day birds.

According to an official release, scientists believe that the dinosaur lived in the Cretaceous period 115 million years ago. It is believed to have been four metres long.

The bones were discovered over a period of weeks in 2019 in three separate discoveries by two separate individuals and a family. They were found at the foreshore in Shanklin.

The bones that were found are believed to be from the neck, back and tail of the new dinosaur. It has been named Vectaerovenator inopinatus.

“The name refers to the large air spaces in some of the bones, one of the traits that helped the scientists identify its theropod origins. These air sacs, also seen in modern birds, were extensions of the lung, and it is likely they helped fuel an efficient breathing system while also making the skeleton lighter,” said to the official release.

Palaeontologists from the University of Southampton confirmed that the bones were from a genus of dinosaur that has not yet been discovered after studying the four vertebrae.

These findings will be published in the journal Papers in Palaeontology, co-authored by those who discovered the fossils.

Chris Barker, a PhD student at the university who led the study, said: “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. 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.”

A display explaining the new find is on show at the Dinosaur Isle Museum at Sandown.

Published on August 12, 2020

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