Paleontologists have discovered a new species of dinosaur, related to the Tyrannosaurus rex, off the southern coast of England.
The research team from the University of Southampton believe four bones found last year in the village of Shanklin, on the Isle of Wight, belong to a new species of theropod dinosaur, BBC News reported.
According to a news release from the university, the team determined the bones were from the neck, back and tail of a new dinosaur “previously unknown to science.”
Therapods comprise a group of carnivores that typically walked on two legs instead of four, such as the Tyrannosaurus rex, the release stated.
The new discovery, which scientists have named Vectaerovenator inopinatus, most likely measured about 13 feet in length and lived during the Cretaceous period, about 115 million years ago, according to the release.
The name was selected because it references the large air sacs found in some of the bones, which are commonly seen in theropods and proved key to helping the researchers identify the species, CNN reported.
“We were struck by just how hollow this animal was. It’s riddled with air spaces. Parts of its skeleton must have been rather delicate,” Chris Barker, a PhD student at the university who led the study, said in the release.
“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,” Barker added.
According to BBC News, the Vectaerovenator likely lived in an area just north of where its remains were found, “with the carcass having washed out into the shallow sea nearby.”
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