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New Welsh Dinosaur Discovered: The Oldest Jurassic Dinosaur In Europe?

Posted by justsofashion from Cardiff - Published on 20/07/2015 at 15:00
4 comments » - Tagged as History, People, School Holiday Activities, Sport & Leisure, Topical

  • Photo 1

Sub-Editor's note: Recently, justsofashion took a trip to the National Museum of Wales, Cardiff for a personal tour of its latest treasure and a thrilling fact-finding discussion with Cindy Howells, Curator, Palaeontology, National Museum Wales.

A distant cousin of the gigantic T-rex, a part of the theropod group, was discovered in 2014 at Lavernock, Vale of Glamorgan and is now on show at the National Museum of Wales in Cardiff. 

Fossil-hunting brothers uncovered the new species of dinosaur - the 'discovery of a lifetime' - after the 2014 spring storms. It ended up being the oldest Jurassic dinosaur in Wales and probably Europe. 

The dino was only a child, probably around two years old. It would have stood at about 20 inch (50cm). We know it was a child because the palaeontologist could see that the bones were not joined up at the joints, showing it wasn't fully developed.

The dinosaur is approximately 200 million years old and is the oldest Jurassic dinosaur ever found in the UK.

"Feathery creature"

The fossils allow us to see that the dino would have eaten insects, small mammals and other reptiles. It is very rare for this many bones to be found, but luckily for us it gave the palaeontologists a better understanding of the brand new species. The fact a new species has been found in Wales has caused a lot of thrill as it is can be up to 50 years for a new species to be found in the UK.

The new species was a carnivorous predator, eating small mammals. The dino would have walked on two legs and had a long tail. The feathery creature, with quills along its back, would have been warm-blooded. It lived near the sea during this period, when Wales would have had a warmer climate that would have been similar to the Mediterranean today. Seas were shallow and warm. The dino died close to the shoreline, then its body washed away and stopped at the seabed.

"They are looking for a nickname, so comment below"

Robert Nicholls was the artist of the incredible impression of the Welsh dinosaur that you can see above. Nicholls is the founder of Paleocreations, which is an art studio in Bristol, UK. He is highly used and recommended for dinosaur drawings and his impression is highly respected.

The fossils are contained in three blocks of rock, which will be on display in the Main Hall at National Museum until 6 September 2015, so they're perfect to see over the Summer Holidays. Admission is free.

The scientific name for the new species will be confirmed later on this year. Luckily, they are looking for a nickname, so comment below with your ideas.

Maybe you could be the next person to find a new species of dinosaur. There are many footprints of dinosaurs unknown to humankind and are just waiting for people to find the fossils to help them become discovered.

Of course, any young person or charity can submit something useful and/or interesting to theSprout - just click here. However, if you want special opportunities like this, just join our theSprout Editorial Group on Facebook - anyone can join and you'll have access to all of our opportunities as they come up. 

Sub-Editor's note: Thanks to simdude101 for his research and written input into a few paragraphs above.


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4 CommentsPost a comment

Tom W

Commented 10 months ago - 20th July 2015 - 16:15pm

I've visited the dinosaur and it's really cool - well worth a visit!

As for nicknames, they don't know if the dinosaur was male or female because apparently that would only show in the fossil when it became an adult and it was only an infant.

This is really annoying, because "Dai the dinosaur" would have been awesome.

"Penny from Penarth" and "Valerie from the Vale" would have been other nice local names, too (kinda)!

I'll get thinking on some gendre-neutral Welsh dino names...

Tom W

Commented 10 months ago - 20th July 2015 - 16:38pm

It's very hard to find suitable Welsh unisex names. The only one of interest:

Dylan. It's apparently unisex. It means son or daughter of the sea, which is where our fossil formed. It's obviously a very Welsh name and people would recognise it as so.

Tom (Sub-Editor)

Tom (Sub-Editor)

Commented 9 months ago - 24th July 2015 - 11:55am

@FeedTheSprout @Museum_Cardiff surely #Cymsaurus is the way to go

Tom (Sub-Editor)

Tom (Sub-Editor)

Commented 9 months ago - 24th July 2015 - 12:00pm

The previous one is from Twitter.

Here's one from Facebook: Taffosaurus!

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