March 23, 2023

Fossilised bones discovered on a rocky seashore on England’s Isle of Wight are the remains of a meat-eating dinosaur that may be larger than any other known from Europe, a beast that was a cousin of the biggest carnivorous dinosaur species on record.

Palaeontologists said on Thursday they have found parts of the skeleton of the dinosaur, which lived about 125 million years ago during the Cretaceous Period, including bones of the back, hips and tail, some limb fragments but no skull or teeth.

Based on the partial remains, they estimated that the dinosaur exceeded 10 metres (33 feet) in length and perhaps reached much more.

“The size of the specimen is impressive. It is one of the biggest – and possibly the biggest – known land predator ever to stalk Europe,” said Chris Barker, a University of Southampton doctoral student in palaeontology and lead author of the study published in the journal PeerJ Life & Environment.

Longest-known dinosaur predator

Based in part on a series of small grooves on the top of the tail vertebra, they concluded that it belonged to a group of dinosaurs called spinosaurs that included Spinosaurus, which lived about 95 million years ago and at about 15 metres (50 feet) long is considered the longest-known dinosaur predator.

Spinosaurs had elongated skulls reminiscent of crocodiles with lots of conical teeth – perfect for grasping slippery prey – as well as strong arms and big claws. They fed upon aquatic prey as well as other dinosaurs.

Because of the incomplete nature of the remains, the researchers have not yet given the newly described dinosaur a scientific name, but are calling it the “White Rock spinosaurid” based on the geological layer where the bones were found. They believe it is not a member of any previously identified species.

Meat-consuming dinosaurs belonged to a clade referred to as theropods, with every continent generating gigantic examples. They had been bipedal and the largest, with great skulls and strong teeth. Spinosaurus was africa’s biggest. Tyrannosaurus rex, approaching 13 metres (forty two toes), became north america’s king, even as the further sized giganotosaurus reigned in south the united states and the marginally smaller tarbosaurus in asia. The most important known named theropod from europe was torvosaurus, at approximately 10 metres.

The newly defined dinosaur might grow to be as long as t rex, according to university of southampton paleobiologist and observe corresponding author neil gostling.

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