Archaeologists Unearth the Oldest Jurassic Dinosaur Species in UK
New Dino Entry
A study published in the journal ‘PLOS ONE’ states that the skull and bones of dinosaur species discovered in 2014 on a beach near Penarth in Wales might be the newest find and the oldest dinosaur species from the Jurassic period. The dinosaur dating back to 200 million years has been named ‘Dracoraptor hanigani’ wherein Dracoraptor means dragon robber and hanigani honours brothers Nick and Rob Hanigan who discovered the dinosaur remains.
The dinosaur species was identified by scientists from the University of Portsmouth, University of Manchester and National Wales Museum. Based on its structure, the scientists have concluded that the dinosaur belonged to the meat–eating theropod group, predecessor of Tyrannosaurus rex. They also suggested that the dinosaur might have been juvenile when it died, as most of its bones were not completely formed or fused.
The dinosaur was nearly 70 cm long with a 200 cm long tail that helped it to maintain its balance. Dracoraptor hanigani lived at the beginning of the Jurassic Period when South Wales was a coastal region like today, but was much warmer then. "The Triassic–Jurassic extinction event is often credited for the later success of dinosaurs through the Jurassic and Cretaceous periods, but previously we knew very little about dinosaurs at the start of this diversification and rise to dominance," said co–author Steven Vidovic.