A huge dinosaur with a crocodile face and backbone, now wandering all over England, about 125 million years ago, it was one of the largest predators in Europe.
Paleontologists have found traces of this rebel on the Isle of Wight off the south coast of England. Researchers have nicknamed the newly discovered species “White Spiny Rock” because of the limestone geological layer found on the island. Scientists have buried only fragments of fossils, the animal has not yet been given an official scientific name.
The fragments are the youngest fossil spinosaurus ever found in the UK, according to a new study published in the journal on June 9th. PeerJ Life and the Environment. Spinosaurids were bipedal carnivorous dinosaurs with crocodile-like skulls, slender necks, and strong arms, and lived during the Cretaceous (145 million to 66 million years ago). The new species is a close relative of the older one, potentially amphibious Spinosaurusit was bigger than this Tyrannosaurus rex and he had a large, flat sail that extended from his back.
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Spinosaurids are a bit of a mystery, as few fossils have been found in the group. Scientists suspect that the creatures hunted in lakes, rivers and lakes, but it is debatable how they captured their quarry. Some paleontologists have suggested spinosaurids they were actively swimming behind the prey (Opens in new tab), by pushing large tails as modern crocodiles do. Other experts suggest that monsters behaved like herons, strolling around lakes and long jaws entering the water to catch fish. In any case, the creatures were horrible, and the newly discovered White Rock spinosaur was one of the largest.
” This was a huge animal, over 10 m tall [33 feet] length, and given some measurements, [it] it is probably the largest dinosaur predator found in Europe, ” said Chris Barker, a paleontologist at Southampton University in England. he said in a statement. ” It’s a pity I didn’t know so much about this material. ”
Researchers found fossils of the ancient monster, including giant pelvic and tail vertebrae, within the Cretaceous rocks near Compton China, a geological feature on the southwest coast of the Isle of Wight. The fossils were preserved in a rocky structure known as the Vectis Formation, which was deposited 125 million years ago when deposits of sea level rise began to enter a freshwater coastal lake. The White Rock spinosaurid roamed these lakes and sandy plains in search of prey, according to the study’s authors.
This is not the first spinosaur to be found on the Isle of Wight by these researchers. In 2021, the group described it two new species of spinosaurids – “riverside hunter” Riparovenator milnerae and “the heron of hell” Inferior Ceratosuchops – Live Science reported in advance. The riverside hunter and the herons of hell were smaller than their cousin spinosaurid White Rock, reaching a length of 29.5 feet (9 meters). These three findings bring the number of spinosaurids found in the UK to four – the other is the scariest claw. Baryonyx.
Researchers say the discovery of the White Rock spinosaurid reinforces its claim, when the first two spinosaurid species were described, that this group of dinosaurs may have initially evolved in Europe before spreading to the Asian and Gondwana supercontinents, which later spread. Africa and South America.
The giant dinosaur may have been the largest land predator in Europe, but it also ended up as something else’s dinner. Bone marks suggest that the corpse of the giant was taken by other hungry Cretaceous beasts.
“Most of these stunning fossils were found by Nick Chase, one of Britain’s most skilled dinosaur hunters, who sadly died before the COVID epidemic,” said Jeremy Lockwood, a paleontologist at the University of Portsmouth, the author of the study. “I was looking for the remains of this dinosaur with Nick and found a pelvic shell that was dug through the tunnels, each the size of my index finger. that he had become “.
Researchers hope to learn more about the fallen giant by taking thin sections of his bones and examining them under a microscope. This would allow them to know more about how fast the spinosaurid grew and how old it may have been when it died, the study authors said.
Originally published in Live Science.