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Europe's largest carnivore is found in southern England

Europe’s largest carnivore is found in southern England

It walked on two legs, had a crocodile-shaped head, and lived on the European continent more than 125 million years ago during the Cretaceous period.

that it Fossil fragments of this theropod dinosaura species called spinosaurid, found by a group of paleontologists.

Bone remains were found in limestone deposits in the Vectis Formation on the Isle of Wight in the English Channel.

“This was a huge animal, it was over ten meters long and probably weighed several tons. Judging by some dimensions, it appears to represent one of the largest predatory dinosaurs found in Europe – and perhaps even the largest ever discovered,” he says. Chris ParkerPh.D. student and leader of the study of fossil discoveries.

“It’s a shame we’ve only found a small amount of the material, but it’s enough to show it’s a massive creature.”

Live on fish and carrion

The researchers found bone remains from the vertebrae, pelvis, and tail of a spinosaurid, but unfortunately no teeth or remnants of the skull were found.

“It’s really big,” he says. Paleontologist Neil Jostling Who participated in the examination of bone finds. “Hopefully more fossils will come out, it would have been great to find a skull or teeth.”

By examining the teeth, it is easy for researchers to place this two-legged giant in the lineage of Spinosaurus.

If related to its spinosaurid cousins, its teeth were ideal for catching slippery prey such as fish, but it may also have lived on the carcasses of other dinosaurs that washed up along the shores.

Until scientists find a more appropriate name, they call the species White Rock Spinosauride, relative to the geological layer in which the bones were found.

The chalk cliffs where the remains were found are famous for many dinosaur discoveries.

Spinosauride originates in Europe

In 2021, the same group of researchers found the remains of two other spinosaurids, both of which are more than nine meters long.

With the latest discovery, scientists now have more evidence for their theory that spinosarids originated and migrated from Western Europe about 150 million years ago.

“If this is a spinosaurid, it really supports the work that we did last year. It clearly indicated the direction of spinosaurids coming from Europe and then migrating to North Africa – where one finds a true spinosaurid – and then to South America,” explains Neil Jostling.

Other details of the bones also caught the researchers’ attention.

In one of the basins there were small tunnels, the size of a thumb. The research group believes that these holes may have been caused by biting larvae encountered by this giant predator.

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