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Dinosaur Fossil Discovered In 2014 Confirmed As New Species


One of the oldest Jurassic dinosaurs in the world was discovered in 2014. Dracoraptor hanigani, or “Dragon Thief” was found by two men after part of cliff on the Welsh coast broke off, but was not washed out to sea.

Forbes attributes the discovery to “more than one stroke of luck” because 200 million years ago, this dog-sized meat-eater was carried out to sea, embedded in a Welsh cliff and then nearly washed out to sea again. The specimen is thought to be the best example of the rare class of Theropod dinosaurs in Europe.

The Dragon Thief is a distant relative of Tyrannosaurus rex, Velociraptor and birds. According to the Forbes article, the rock in which the fossil was discovered held fossilized bivavles. The presence of bivavles mean that this dinosaur was in an oceanic environment. That the Dragon Thief was found in marine sediments and not Jurassic rocks makes this discovery even more novel, according to Forbes.

the specimen belongs to a newly discovered species of dinosaur.

The Guardian reported that amateur fossil hunters Nick and Rob Hanigan made the discovery while looking for marine fossils. Now, two-years later scientists know that the specimen belongs to a newly discovered species of dinosaur.

After alerting authorities to their discovery, experts were able to recover bones from its snout, teeth, neck, core and some extremities. The serrated teeth discovered left no doubt that this small dinosaur was a meat-eater, as reported by The Guardian.

Experts in the article stated that should the public discover fossils to contact a museum. The discovery of specimens like this one has the potential to fill large gaps of knowledge in scientists understanding of the Mesozoic Era and the three ages of the dinosaurs.

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