Scientists say it is likely that the Vectaerovenator inopinatus lived in an area just north of where its remains were discovered, with its carcass having washed out to sea
A new species of dinosaur has been discovered on the Isle of Wight.
The creature is from the same family as Tyrannosaurus rex and roamed the Earth some 115 million years ago, the Independent reported.
The dinosaur, which is a new species of theropod – the group that includes modern-day birds – has been named Vectaerovenator inopinatus.
Paleontologists from the University of Southampton say it is estimated to have been up to four metres long.
Four bones were found last year on the coast at Shanklin on the Isle of Wight and are thought very likely to be from the same individual dinosaur.
Scientists say it is likely that the Vectaerovenator inopinatus lived in an area just north of where its remains were discovered, with its carcass having washed out to sea.
The Isle of Wight is famed for its dinosaur remains, with over 25 species having been found on the island. Only 21 species have been found in England, for example, a land which is more than three hundred times larger.
The new fossils were unearthed in three separate discoveries just weeks apart in 2019; two were found by individuals and one by a family – all of whom handed in their finds to the nearby Dinosaur Isle museum at Sandown.
Robin Ward, a regular fossil hunter from Stratford-upon-Avon, was on a family trip to the Isle of Wight when they made their discovery.
He said: “The joy of finding the bones we discovered was absolutely fantastic. I thought they were special and so took them along when we visited Dinosaur Isle museum.”
After studying the four vertebrae, palaeontologists from the University of Southampton confirmed that the bones are likely to belong to a genus of dinosaur previously unknown to science.
Their findings will be published in the journal Papers in Palaeontology.
Chris Barker, a PhD student at the university who led the study, said: “You don’t usually find dinosaurs in the deposits at Shanklin as they were laid down in a marine habitat.
“You’re much more likely to find fossil oysters or driftwood, so this is a rare find indeed.”