Scientists discover Welsh “dragon” dinosaur the size of a chicken dinosaurs

A dinosaur was found to be a distant relative of the Tyrannosaurus Rex – but with a body the size of a chicken – which likely towered over the roost around 200 million years ago.

The small but fearsome creature, whose fossilized remains were found in a southern quarry Wales, is the oldest theropod – a group that includes the T-Rex and modern birds – found in the UK.

He’s been nominated Pendraig milneraependrige Means “dragon head” in Middle Welsh and milnerae In honor of the fire Angela MilnerHe was a promoter of the dinosaur gallery at the Natural History Museum and a researcher and deputy guardian of paleontology at the Museum for over 30 years.

fragmentary fossils Pendraig milnerae It was discovered in a South Wales quarry in the 1950s, but in recent years it has been hidden in a drawer with crocodile specimens until Milner found it.

The dinosaur is thought to have lived between 200 and 215 million years ago at the end of the Triassic period. His body size may have been similar to that of a modern chicken, but with his tail almost three feet long.

Stefan Spekmann, researcher at Natural History Museum, She said: “Pendraig milnerae He lived near the beginning of the evolution of carnivorous dinosaurs. It is clear from the bones we have that they were carnivores, but at the beginning of the evolution of this group these animals were very small, unlike the very famous carnivorous dinosaurs such as the later evolved T-Rex. . ”

Speakman and his colleagues named him the dragon head to honor his potential position as a primary predator. The mention of Milner, who died in August, was appropriate as she played a vital role in the transport of the specimen, while contributing significantly to the understanding of theropod dinosaurs.

The discovery of this new species could provide proof of the potential island dwarfism. “The area where these specimens were found was probably an island when they lived,” Spekman said. “Species that live on islands often tend to become smaller than those on the mainland in a phenomenon called island dwarfism.”

He said this because pendrige Not having reached full maturity, it was not possible to draw any conclusions on this subject. “We need more evidence from more species to investigate the possibility that island dwarfism occurred in this region during this time period, but if we can prove it, this would be the first known event of this evolutionary phenomenon. . ”

Richard Butler, co-author of a dinosaur research paper and professor of paleobiology at the University of Birmingham said: “Dinosaur finds are really rare in Wales, and this is only the third type. of dinosaurs known in the country. It is very exciting to learn more about the dinosaurs that lived here in the UK. During the Triassic period, just at the dawn of the evolution of dinosaurs. “

The remains were found in the 1950s by paleontologists Pamela Robinson and Kenneth Kermack. It has been studied, but the creature has not been named.

Susanna Maidment, a senior palaeobiology researcher at the Natural History Museum, was trying to trace the specimen and turned to Milner for help. He left and after about three hours I got him. I found it in a drawer with crocodile stuff on it. ”

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