Isle of Wight dinosaur 'may be largest land predator to roam Europe'

Crocodile-faced dinosaur unearthed on the Isle of Wight that was as big as a London Bus ‘may be largest land predator to ever roam Europe

  • Crocodile-faced dinosaur bigger than a London Bus unearthed on Isle of Wight
  • ‘White Rock spinosauridmay be the largest land predator to ever roam Europe
  • It was over 32ft long and weighed several tonnes — University of Southampton
  • Several prehistoric bones, including huge pelvic and tail vertebrae, were found
  • The remains of what may be the largest predatory dinosaur ever found in Europe have been unearthed on the Isle of Wight.

    Paleontologists say the huge crocodile-faced dinosaur – which at 32.8ft (10 meter) long almost as big as a Londen Bus – lived 125 million years ago and would have weighed several tonnes.

    The ‘giant killerwas a member of the spinosaurids, the first dinosaurs known to swim, so may have been able to hunt in the water as well as on land.

    It would have lived at the beginning of a period of rising sea levels and would have stalked lagoonal waters and sandflats in search of food.

    Several prehistoric bones belonging to the ‘White Rock spinosaurid– named as such because of the geological layer in which the remains were found – were discovered on the island off the south coast of England.

    They include huge pelvic and tail vertebrae and have since been analysed by scientists from the University of Southampton.

    The remains of what may be the largest predatory dinosaur ever found in Europe have been unearthed on the Isle of Wight. 'White Rock spinosaurid' is pictured in an artist's impression

    The remains of what may be the largest predatory dinosaur ever found in Europe have been unearthed on the Isle of Wight. ‘White Rock spinosauridis pictured in an artist’s impression

    Experts say the huge crocodile-faced dinosaur – which at 32.8ft (10 meter) long almost as big as a London Bus – lived 125 million years ago and would have weighed several tonnes

    Experts say the huge crocodile-faced dinosaur – which at 32.8ft (10 meter) long almost as big as a London Bus – lived 125 million years ago and would have weighed several tonnes

    Several prehistoric bones belonging to the 'White Rock spinosaurid' – named as such because of the geological layer in which the remains were found – were discovered on the island off the south coast of England. They include huge pelvic and tail vertebrae (op die foto)

    Several prehistoric bones belonging to the ‘White Rock spinosaurid– named as such because of the geological layer in which the remains were found – were discovered on the island off the south coast of England. They include huge pelvic and tail vertebrae (op die foto)








    HOW THE LARGEST KNOWN SPINOSAURID EVEN DWARFED T.REX

    Originally found in Egypt, Spinosaurus is the largest known spinosaurid.

    It is also thought to be one of the largest carnivorous dinosaurs to existprobably reaching over 49ft in length.

    Spinosaurus (reg) faces off against a T-rex in the movie Jurassic Park III. The 50-foot, seven-ton Spinosaurus was the largest known carnivorous dinosaur and lived in North Africa 100 miljoen jaar gelede

    Spinosaurus (reg) faces off against a T-rex in the movie Jurassic Park III. The 50-foot, seven-ton Spinosaurus was the largest known carnivorous dinosaur and lived in North Africa 100 miljoen jaar gelede

    Thoughts on its feeding behaviours vary, with some studies suggesting it was an active aquatic predatorchasing fish in the sea.

    Other studies claim it was a heron-like shoreline feedergrabbing fish and small land prey without venturing out to sea to actively pursue fish.

    It lived in the Late Cretaceous era – 99 aan 93.5 million years ago and lived in what is now North Africa.

    There are two known species of Spinosaurus that have been named so far:

    • Spinosaurus aegyptiacus or Egyptian spine lizard
    • The disputed Spinosaurus maroccanus or Moroccan spine lizard

    The first known Spinosaurus fossils were destroyed by Allied bombing during World War II, which has hampered palaeontologist’s attempts to understand the unusual creatures.

    More recently the dinosaur found fame in the 2001 film Jurassic Park III, where it battles and defeats a Tyrannosaurus rex.

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    PhD student Chris Barker said: ‘This was a huge animal, exceeding 10m (32.8ft) in length and probably several tonnes in weight.

    ‘Judging from some of the dimensions, it appears to represent one of the largest predatory dinosaurs ever found in Europe – maybe even the biggest yet known.

    ‘It’s a shame it’s only known from a small amount of material, but these are enough to show it was an immense creature.

    The remains were found by dinosaur hunter Nick Chase, who has since died, near Compton Chine, on the south-west coast of the Isle of Wight in the Vectis Formation geological structure, and are now on display in the Dinosaur Isle Museum in Sandown.

    Dr Neil Gostling, corresponding author of the study published in the journal PeerJ, gesê: ‘Unusually, this specimen eroded out of the Vectis Formation, which is notoriously poor in dinosaur fossils.

    ‘It’s likely to be the youngest spinosaur material yet known from the UK.

    Co-author Darren Naish said: ‘This new animal bolsters our previous argument – published last year – that spinosaurid dinosaurs originated and diversified in western Europe before becoming more widespread.

    ‘Because it’s only known from fragments at the moment, we haven’t given it a formal scientific name,’ Mr Naish added.

    ‘We hope that additional remains will turn up in time.

    The scientists suggest that marks on the bone including little tunnels bored into a lump of pelvis, show that the body of the giant dinosaur would have been picked over by scavengers and decomposers after it had died.

    Co-author Jeremy Lockwood, a PhD student at the University of Portsmouth and Natural History Museum, gesê: ‘We think they were caused by bone eating larvae of a type of scavenging beetle.

    ‘It’s an interesting thought that this giant killer wound up becoming a meal for a host of insects.

    The researchers hope to look at microscopic internal properties of the bones in the near future, which may provide information about the dinosaur’s growth rate and possible age.

    The largest known spinosaurid is Spinosaurus, which even dwarfed the fearsome T. rex.

    The remains were found near Compton Chine, on the south-west coast of the Isle of Wight in the Vectis Formation geological structure

    The remains were found near Compton Chine, on the south-west coast of the Isle of Wight in the Vectis Formation geological structure

    The researchers hope to look at microscopic internal properties of the bones in the near future, which may provide information about the dinosaur's growth rate and possible age

    The researchers hope to look at microscopic internal properties of the bones in the near future, which may provide information about the dinosaur’s growth rate and possible age

    This graphic shows the area on the Isle of Wight where the dinosaur fossils were discovered

    This graphic shows the area on the Isle of Wight where the dinosaur fossils were discovered

    It is hard to guess the behaviour of an animal just from fossils; but based on its skeleton, some scientists have proposed that Spinosaurus could swim, while others think it just waded in the water like a heron.

    A new study published in March this year claimed that the dinosaur had dense bones that would likely have allowed it to hunt underwater.

    Researchers at the Field Museum in Chicago, Illinois came to their conclusion after studying the density of spinosaurid bones and comparing them to other animals like penguins, hippos, and alligators.

    The new discovery has been published in the journal PeerJ Life & Omgewing.

    The remains were found by dinosaur hunter Nick Chase (foto sentrum), who has since died

    The remains were found by dinosaur hunter Nick Chase (foto sentrum), who has since died

    The Cretaceous rocks may be famous for their dinosaurs, but little appreciated is the fact that the island's fossil record preserves dinosaurs from more than one section of dinosaur history

    The Cretaceous rocks may be famous for their dinosaurs, but little appreciated is the fact that the island’s fossil record preserves dinosaurs from more than one section of dinosaur history

    HOE DIE DINOSAURS UITGESTERF HET RONDOM 66 MILJOEN JAAR GELEDE

    Dinosourusse het die aarde regeer en oorheers 66 miljoen jaar gelede, voordat hulle skielik uitgesterf het.

    Die Kryt-Tersiêre uitsterwingsgebeurtenis is die naam wat aan hierdie massa-uitsterwing gegee word.

    Daar is vir baie jare geglo dat die veranderende klimaat die voedselketting van die groot reptiele vernietig het.

    In die 1980's, paleontoloë het 'n laag iridium ontdek.

    Dit is 'n element wat skaars op Aarde is, maar in groot hoeveelhede in die ruimte voorkom.

    Wanneer dit gedateer is, dit het presies saamgeval met wanneer die dinosourusse uit die fossielrekord verdwyn het.

    ’n Dekade later, wetenskaplikes het die massiewe Chicxulub-krater aan die punt van Mexiko se Yucatán-skiereiland ontbloot, wat uit die betrokke tydperk dateer.

    Wetenskaplike konsensus sê nou dat hierdie twee faktore verbind is en hulle is albei waarskynlik veroorsaak deur 'n enorme asteroïde wat na die aarde neergestort het.

    Met die geprojekteerde grootte en impaksnelheid, die botsing sou 'n enorme skokgolf veroorsaak het en waarskynlik seismiese aktiwiteit veroorsaak het.

    Die uitval sou pluime van as geskep het wat waarskynlik die hele planeet bedek het en dit onmoontlik gemaak het vir dinosourusse om te oorleef.

    Ander diere en plantspesies het 'n korter tydsverloop tussen generasies gehad wat hulle toegelaat het om te oorleef.

    Daar is verskeie ander teorieë oor wat die dood van die beroemde diere veroorsaak het.

    Een vroeë teorie was dat klein soogdiere dinosourus-eiers geëet het en 'n ander stel voor dat giftige angiosperme (blomplante) het hulle doodgemaak.

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