Fossil hunters on the Isle of Wight have discovered fossil remains of two new species of dinosaurs that roamed the southern coast 125 million years ago. The carnivorous reptile nicknamed “heron” and “riverside stalker” is believed to be nine meters (29.5 feet) long – about the same length as Stegosaurus – with crocodile-like skulls.
Scientists say they are pointing to two new species of Spinosaurus, a group of predatory theropod dinosaurs closely related to the giant Spinosaurus, Staffordshire Life reports. The first specimen was called Ceratosuchops inferodios, which translates as “hell heron with horns and a crocodile face.” With a series of low horns and spurs on the forehead region, scientists have likened his hunting technique to a fearsome version of modern birds.
Herons have been known to hunt aquatic prey around the edges of streams, but their diet is much more flexible than is generally known and can include terrestrial prey as well. The second dinosaur was named Riparovenator milnerae, which translates as Milner’s Bridge Hunter, in honor of the recently deceased British paleontologist Angela Milner. Bone loot has been discovered on a beach near Brighstone for several years. In all, more than 50 bones have been discovered at the site from the rocks that are part of the Wessex Formation, which were deposited more than 125 million years ago during the Lower Cretaceous period.
The only skeleton previously discovered in the UK belongs to Baryonyx, first discovered in 1983 in a quarry in Surrey. Most other discoveries since then have been limited to isolated teeth and single bones. One expert hailed the discovery of the two specimens in quick succession as a “big surprise,” but said that for decades paleontologists had suspected that such dinosaur remains could be found on the island.
Darren Naish, a British expert on theropod dinosaurs, said the discovery of spiny dinosaurs on the Isle of Wight would be soon. “We’ve known for two decades that baryonyx-like dinosaurs were waiting to be discovered on the Isle of Wight, but finding the remains of two of these animals in close succession was a huge surprise,” he said. An analysis of the Isle of Wight bones carried out at the University of Southampton and published in the journal Scientific Reports indicated that they belonged to a dinosaur species previously unknown to science.
Dr Neil Jostling of the University of Southampton, who oversaw the project, said, “This work brought together universities, the Dinosaur Island Museum and the public to reveal these amazing dinosaurs and the incredibly diverse environment of the south coast of England 125 million years ago.” Chris Parker, a PhD student at the University of Southampton and lead author of the study said: ‘We found that the skulls differed not only from Baryonyx, but also from each other, suggesting that the UK harbors a greater diversity of Spinosaurus than previously. Think. Cretaceous rocks describe Early on the Isle of Wight the environment of an ancient alluvial plain submerged in a Mediterranean climate.Although the bushfires are generally mild, the landscape has occasionally devastated, and the remains of burnt wood can be seen all over the cliffs.With a large river and other dinosaur bodies Attracting the waters and harboring many fish, sharks and crocodiles, the habitat will provide plenty of hunting opportunities for the newly discovered Spinosaurus.The new fossils will be on display at the Dinosaur Island Museum in Sandown, Isle of Wight.
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