The spinosaurus found measured about 10 meters long, but some of its fragments still do not allow it to be attributed to a formal species. The finding confirms the hypothesis that spinosaurids originated and divided into various species in Western Europe.
Fossils of a dinosaur in the Isle of Wight could belong to the largest land predator that has been in Europe, according to a statement from the University of Southampton.
The Isle of Wight is located in the English Channel off the south coast of England. Paleontologists from the University of Southampton discovered the fossilized bones of a carnivorous bipedal dinosaur belonging to the spinosauridae family.
“It was a huge animal, more than 10 meters long, and probably several tons in weight. Judging from some of the dimensions, it appears to represent one of the largest predatory dinosaurs ever found in Europe, perhaps even the largest known so far,” said PhD student Chris Barker, who led the study.
“It is a pity that all the information had to be obtained from a small amount of material, but it was enough to show that it was an immense creature”, he explained.
The bones of the huge lizard (spinosaurus is Greek for ‘spiky lizard’) , including pelvic, hip, and tail vertebrae, were found in stony rocks in the southwest of the island. The 125-million-year-old Vectis Formation, where their fossils were found, bears traces of a period of rising sea levels, when these spinosaurids fed in shallow waters and along coastlines.
Since the new species is known only from a small number of fragments, it has not yet been given an official systematic name. Carrion marks were visible on the bones. In particular, the larvae had made finger-thick holes in them.
The finding confirms the hypothesis that spinosaurids originated and divided into several species in Western Europe.
Researchers hope to obtain thin sections of the material, and study the internal properties of the bones to determine their growth rate and possible biological age.
The article was published in the journal PeerJ.