The new species is the oldest carnivorous dinosaur found in the UK



Pendraig milnerae was a small species of carnivorous dinosaur that now inhabits South Wales. Credit: © James Robbins

The oldest known carnivorous dinosaur found in Britain is named after pioneering scientist Angela Milner, who died in August 2021.

A small, carnivorous dinosaur lived in what is now Wales over 200 million years ago. Discovered in a quarry in the 1950s and initially thought to be part of a completely different group of dinosaurs, scientists have now realized it was entirely new. Race, Pendraigmilnerae.

The name pays homage to both the origins of Wales and museum paleontologist Angela Milner, who was the driving force behind the Dinosaur Gallery and named herself various new species.

The name reflects Angela’s support for the dinosaur movement, which has been missing for many years in museums, as well as a leader in the field for decades.

Dr Susannah Maidment, senior researcher in paleontology at the museum who studied under Angela, said:

“She found it in the crocodile’s drawer, and she must have had a specimen in her eyes since she had already examined it.” This paper would not be possible without her. low.”

New species are listed in the journal Royal Society Open Science..

Faded away

The new species has a mysterious past that has been lost, discovered and renamed over the past 40 years.

Originally found in Pantyffynnon, South Wales, in a type of deposit known as crack fill. This is where the debris fell into the breach before being covered and fossilized.

Fossilized bones have been mistaken for another species for years. Credits: © Stephan Spiekman et al. 2021

Over the years, these faults have provided a variety of fossils dating back to the Triassic period, giving researchers insight into the evolutionary history of mammals, crocodiles, and dinosaurs.

In 1952, some of the dinosaur bones, including parts of the back, legs and hips, were discovered in one of the cracks. Although few in number, the researchers were able to recognize that the animal was likely a coelophysis. It was a small, carnivorous dinosaur with a long, slender nose, common to the Upper Triassic and Lower Jurassic.

This species is the oldest known theropod dinosaur found in the UK and represents a major advance in our understanding of the early evolution of European dinosaurs.

Dr Stephen Speakman, museum researcher and lead author of the treatise, said: “There is no obvious personality that sets this species apart. There are certain combinations of unique personalities within the group, which I am. Showed us. It’s clear New species .. “

It is believed that the small size of P. milnerae may be due to the fact that the bones originate from juveniles. The adults may have grown larger than specimens found in Wales, but were not identified during the fossilization process.

This is further complicated by its esteemed habitat, which is considered the island archipelago. The species that live on the island are often smaller due to the scarcity of available resources and the lack of larger predators. This reduction is a process known as island dwarfism.

For this reason, there was a lot of uncertainty about the exact identity of the dinosaurs.

Fossils of young animals often do not have all of the characteristics that distinguish one species from other species. For this dinosaur, this has caused a lot of confusion over the years, and scientists in the 1990s first described it as a species of Syntarsus.

However, soon after scientists determined that the Syntarsus species were in fact related to other groups and reassigned them, the name was removed and more research was needed.

But when the scientists went to bone research to reassess their bones following the changes, the wreckage was not where the researchers thought. The researchers turned to Dr Angela Milner because the paleontologist and the museum’s old hands were needed to find the bones.

The new species is the oldest carnivorous dinosaur found in the UK

Pendraig milnerae was named in honor of Dr Angela Milner, who passed away in 2021 Credit: © Natural History Museum Trustee

“Brimey claw”

Angela was an influential figure in paleontology during and after her 40-year career. She was an expert on tetrapods (four-legged vertebrates), including mammals, reptiles and amphibians.

In 1976, she joined the museum as a curator and began to expand her research to a variety of dinosaurs. In 1983, she and her paleontologist colleague Arancharig officially described the recently discovered Baryonyx Walkeri. This is a large, carnivorous dinosaur whose unique giant claws have led to the title “Claw Shine!” New dinosaur! “In the newspaper Le Soleil.

In addition to his new research, years at the Angela Museum have given him an in-depth understanding of the best ways to educate the general public. dinosaur .. She was instrumental in the development of the museum’s dinosaur gallery and introduced many iconic species, including those involved in the naming.

Angela’s work in many areas of the museum inspired the people who worked with her.

Susanna said: “Angela has been very important in museums for many years. She was not only the best dinosaur researcher, but also a leadership position when women did not play such a role. Museum So it was very important to me as a student.

“She really inspired me and was an incredible help when I visited the museum. She showed me the rope. It includes me and the other three in this treaty. This applies to many people.

This species was named in honor of Angela and joined many other species that named it, such as Veterupristisaurus milneri. This includes the Riparovenator milnerae, a type of Spinosaurus dinosaur. It was recently named after her.

The researchers are now P. I would like to delve deeper into the life of milnerae and the wildlife they lived with to prove whether their size is the result of island habitation.

Two new species of large predatory dinosaurs discovered on Isle of Wight

For more information:
Stephan NF Spiekman et al, Pendraig milnerae, new small coelophysis theropods from the Upper Triassic of Wales, Royal Society Open Science (2021). DOI: 10.1098 / rsos.210915

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Natural History Museum

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