29 September (WNN) — Dinosaur bones recovered from Isle of Wight beaches belonged to novel species, close relatives of giant theropods spinosaurus.
The remains, detailed Wednesday in the journal Scientific Reports, were initially discovered by local fossil-hunters on the beaches of Brighton.
The entire excavation was carried out by paleontologists from the Dinosaur Isle Museum over a period of several years.
“We realized this would be something very rare and unusual after two snouts were found,” Isle of Wight fossil collector Jeremy Lockwood said in a press release. “Then it became more surprising as many collectors found and donated other parts of this giant jigsaw to the museum.”
After detailed physical analysis, paleontologists in Britain determined that the dinosaur remains contained two new species of spinosaurid.
like his cousin spinosaurus, two species – ceratosuchops inferodios, “The horned crocodile-faced hell heron,” and Reprovenator Milnere, “Milner’s Riverbank Hunter” – A Tyrannosaurus-like body topped with long, flat, crocodile-like jaws and sharp teeth.
Both dinosaur species, which lived during the Early Cretaceous, 125 million years ago, probably took a heron-like approach to predation, stalking the banks of swamps and lakes, feeding fish and small reptiles along banks and freshwater ecosystems. snatched from the shallows.
“It may seem strange to have two similar and closely related carnivores in one ecosystem, but it is actually very common for both dinosaurs and many living ecosystems,” said study co-author David Hohn, paleontologist at Queen Mary University of London. he said.
Both new species spanned about 30 feet from head to tail and snatched prey using three-foot-long jaws.
The discovery of two new spinosaurid species on a small British Isle suggests that spinosaurs may have originated and diversified in Europe before spreading to Asia, Africa and South America.
“This work has brought universities, the Dinosaur Isle Museum and the public together to reveal these amazing dinosaurs 125 million years ago and the incredibly diverse ecology of England’s south coast,” said co-author Neil J. Gostling, project leader and paleontologist at the University of Southampton.
The cliffs of Brighton’s beaches have yielded a wealth of fossils over the years.
Millions of years ago, the lands that make up the Isle of Wight had an extensive floodplain, dense coastal forest, and humid weather that attracted a diversity of dinosaurs, fish, sharks and crocodiles.
It turns out that spinosaurids also found the habitat particularly attractive.