Pterosaur Discovery: Prehistoric Flying Reptile Named After Fossil Hunter
By sangeetha seshagiri | March 24, 2013 9:44 PM EST
A nine-year-old girl who discovered a new species of flying reptile four years ago has been honoured by having the species named after her.
Youngster Daisy Morris found some "bones sticking out of the sand," while hunting for fossils at the UK's Isle of Wight in 2008 when she was five years old, reported BBC.
The girl's parents brought the fossils to fossil expert Martin Simpson, at the University of Southampton. Simpson and his colleagues identified the specimen as a new species of pterosaur - a flying reptile that lived alongside dinosaurs during the Lower Cretaceous period, 220 million years ago. The crow-sized pterosaur was named Vectidraco daisymorrisae by the paleontologists. They belong to the group of group of pterosaurs called the azhdarchoids.
The fossils are being preserved at the Natural History Museum for public display. The discovery of the fossil remains of a pterosaur has come just a week after paleontologists discovered a nearly complete skeleton of a 12-feet long dinosaur on the Isle of Wight. Following the discoveries, the museum has named the island as the "dinosaur capital of Great Britain," the BBC report said.
It is very difficult to determine the size of pterodactyloids as they are highly variable in relative body proportions and wing shape, said the researchers. They compared the newly-discovered species with the skeletal reconstructions of the small azhdarchoid Tapejara - a genus of Brazilian pterosaur from the Cretaceous Period. The research team estimated the total length of Vectidraco (from snout to tail) to be about 35 cm (14 inches). They also suggested that the pterosaur likely had a wingspan of about 30 inches (75 cm).
The newly-found species probably had a head crest similar to other small-bodied azhdarchoids. The pterosaur was a good walker and runner on the ground, as well as an expert in flying through dense forests, reported National Geographic.
The findings of the study are published in the journal PLOS ONE.
To contact the editor, e-mail:
Most Popular Slideshows
- NFL MNF: Pittsburgh Steelers 30, Houston Texans 23 [PHOTOS]
- ‘Sons of Anarchy’ Season 7 Finale Spoilers: Kurt Sutter On Ending The Biker Series And Picking The Right Song For The Final Ride
- Prince Charles’ Wife Camilla Parker-Bowles In Drug Scandal - Reports
- Camilla Parker-Bowles To Become Queen When Prince Charles Accedes To The Throne
Join the Conversation
- Kate Middleton Pregnancy Update: Duchess Spotted All Smiles, Sickness Seems Over
- 14 Contestants For Miss Hitler 2014 Beauty Pageant Organised By Russian Equivalent Of Facebook
- 2014 Meteor Shower: Slooh To Have Live Broadcast Of Orionids Meteor Shower October 21 Peak, NASA Assures Ideal Observing Conditions
- Kate Middleton To Give Birth To A 'Cheerful' Baby, Duchess Not Carrying Twins---Report
- 63-Year-Old Admits He Has Made Love To More Than 700 Cars But Now Remains Faithful To Just One Beetle
- Galaxy Note 4 vs Redmi Note 2 vs iPhone 6: Samsung in Danger with Depressing Q3
- iOS 8 Jailbreak Release Date Likely this October 2014 with Pangu not Evad3rs Firming Up as Creator
- Top 4 Free-To-Download Apps for Fuller iPhone 6, 6 Plus Experience
- Battery Saving Android 5.0 Lollipop Feature Extends The Battery Life Of Your Android Device By 90 Minutes And Displays Orange Bar While Power Saving Mode Is On
- Apple Inc. (AAPL) Stock Set to Soar Beyond $100 Despite Decline After New iPad Launch
- Russia Beefs Up Gold Reserves To Offset Heat of Sanctions And Undercut Dollar
- Australia's 'No Way' Anti-Asylum Seeker Poster Sparks Outrage