Have you heard the recent news of a newly discovered 200 million-year-old flesh-eating dinosaur, right here in Wales, that is thought to be the oldest from the Jurassic era ever to have been discovered in Britain?
This little dino is said to be the nearest palaeontologists have come to identifying a genuine, real life dragon.
The dinosaur is reported to be approximately 200 million years old, and belongs to the theropod group of dinosaurs, making it a distant relation to the infamous Tyrannosaurus rex. It’s worth noting that this little guy was walking the earth around 130 million years earlier than its renowned cousin.
This recent discovery, which was found not far from some of our Wales glamping destinations, is a totally new species, was formerly unknown to scientists, making this find even more thrilling.
A few things the experts now know about the new Welsh dinosaur:
- The official name of the Welsh dinosaur is Dracoraptor hanigani.
- It walked on two legs and had a long tail
- The prehistoric dinosaur was a carnivorous predator, who fed off small mammals, and a selection of reptiles.
- It’s thought to have died as a juvenile, and was around 50cm tall, 30cm off its potentially full size.
- This predator lived near the sea, enjoying the more Mediterranean-esque climate in Wales at the time, with its shallow, warm seas.
- It is said that is was a warm-blooded animal, with much of its body thought to have been covered in feathery down with quills along its back.
The rocks encompassing the fossilised dinosaur bones were discovered on the beach in South Wales, by two brothers Rob and Nick Hanigan, in March 2014. These two avid fossil hunters had just been out walking, examining the latest rock fall from the cliffs above as they passed by. It was at this point that they noticed interesting shapes in the rocks and took them away for closer inspection.
Following their find, scientists at National Museum Cardiff were able to identify the type of dinosaur and worked with palaeontologists at other institutions, with the help of Dr David Martill at Portsmouth University, to define this brand new species of dinosaur.
If you would like to see the new discovery up close, then you can take advantage of the display in the Main Hall at National Museum Cardiff right up until 31 December this year.