A spinosaurid, which lived about 125 million years ago, would have been more than 10 meters (about 33 feet) long and weighed several tons, according to a statement announcing the results.
The spinosaurid remains likely belong to a new species, Christopher Parker, the University of Southampton doctoral student in vertebrate palaeontology who led the study, told CNN via email Thursday.
“It may be a new species, but we can’t name it based on the existing materials,” Parker said.
Prehistoric bones of spinoride have been found in A geologic layer of rock known as the Vectis Formation in Parker added Compton Chin, located on the southwest coast of the Isle of Wight.
“Compton Bay is a famous site for dinosaur fossils on the Isle of Wight. Most of them come from the older Wessex Formation, which was collaborating with dinosaurs,” Parker said. “Our Spinosaurus is indeed of the Vectis formation, and bones (dinosaurs or otherwise) are rare in this formation (which consists of several rock layers).”
“It is significant because (it is) the first recognizable theropod from the formation of Vectis,” he added.
Therapods are a group of dinosaurs that include Tyrannosaurus rex and velociraptors made famous through the Jurassic Park movie franchise. Parker said the newly discovered dinosaur could have been larger than a double-decker bus.
Marks on fossilized bones reveal how scavengers and decomposers, organisms that break down decomposing material, likely fed from the corpse.
The researchers will try to study thin sections of the same sample so that they can examine the internal microscopic properties of the bones in the near future, which could reveal details about their growth rate and approximate age.
When asked if the spinosaurid was Europe’s largest predator, Parker said, “Some bones are superior to those of ‘the largest in Europe’, so they are in that sense. However, we would ideally want complete skeletons for all of the biggest predators.” In Europe to be exact.
In September, researchers found spinosaurid remains on the shore of the Isle of Wight dating back to the early Cretaceous period, 125 million years ago. The species was previously unknown at that time.
The study was published in the scientific journal Peer J on Thursday.
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