Dinosaur footprint discovered on the Isle of Wight by Storm Ciara from a 130 million year old therapist
A footprint of a dinosaur discovered on a beach on the Isle of Wight by Storm Ciara belongs to a 130 million-year-old therapist, claiming fossil hunters.
It is thought that the print was left by a Neovenator – a carnivore that can reach a length of 7.6 m and weigh up to 2,000 kg.
The footprint was discovered by the Wright Coast Fossils group at Sandown Bay, on the southeastern coast of the island, on 12 February 2020.
The find comes just two weeks after the fossilized remains of a dinosaur tail were unveiled in cliffs further along the coastline of the Isle of Wight.
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A footprint of a dinosaur, pictured, discovered on a beach on the Isle of Wight by Storm Ciara, belongs to a 130 million-year-old therapist, claiming fossil hunters
WHAT WE KNOW ABOUT NEOVENATOR?
Neovenator was a genus of large carnivorous dinosaurs.
It lived around 135-125 million years ago, in the time known as the early Cretaceous period.
Neovenator would have been one of the best predators of his time.
The name means ‘new hunter’.
Neovenator could reach 25 feet (7.6 m) in length and weigh up to 4,400 pounds (2,000 kg).
The first fossil found by Neovenator was excavated on the Isle of Wight in the summer of 1978.
“All this weather reveals traces of vanished worlds along our coastline,” Wright Coast Fossils said, “Theo Vickers said.
“This is truly a fascinating example of how events like Storm Ciara continue to expose traces of ancient environments around our geologically unique coastline, often in full view.”
“Sandown Bay unveiled this beautiful 130 million-year-old dinosaur track yesterday, preserved in brightly colored clay.”
“The pointed toes of this trail may indicate a type of dinosaur known as a large theropod, perhaps Neovenator or the Spinosaurus Baryonyx.”
“Our track-maker traversed this area 130 million years ago, heading south-west in what is now Sandown Bay, and leaves these huge traces in the marshy ground.
“Behind the dinosaur lay a series of low wooded hills, while in front of him lay a flat flood plain with forests, river canals and herds of herbivorous dinosaurs.”
“Such clay footprints can occur relatively often, but do not last long for the forces of erosion.”
“Unfortunately, they will usually disappear within a few days or weeks, while the tide wears away the soft clays of the formation, an awesome but fleeting glimpse of a bygone era, lying in view of our coastline.”
The print – shown here – is supposed to have been left behind by a Neovenator – a carnivore that can reach a length of 7.6 m and weigh up to 2000 kg.
“The pointed toes of this trail may indicate a dinosaur type known as a large theropod, perhaps Neovenator [pictured] or the Spinosaurus Baryonyx, “said Theo Vickers
The name Neovenator comes from the Greek for ‘new’ and the Latin for ‘hunter’.
The determining species of the genus, Neovenator salerii, owes its name to the Salero family who owned the land on the Isle of Wight whose first remains of the dinosaur were recovered in the summer of 1978.
Of this dinosaur, paleontologist and Neovenator expert Chris Baker, formerly of the University of Southampton, said: “The skull of Neovenator revealed the most complete neurovascular channel of the dinosaur, highly branched, closest to the tip of the muzzle.”
“This is where branches of the large nerve nerve are said to be responsible for the feeling in the face and the associated blood vessels.”
“This suggests that Neovenator had an extremely sensitive snout – a very useful adaptation, because dinosaurs used their heads for most activities.”
Paleontologists believe that Neovenator could walk on its long hind legs – and had three clawed toes on each foot and three numbers on each front leg
Paleontologists believe that Neovenator could walk on its long hind legs – and had three clawed toes on each foot and three numbers on each front leg.
It also had a long body that was balanced by a long tail.
Experts believe that the sensitive muzzle of Neovenator might feel stimuli such as pressure and temperature, which would have been useful for many activities, from caressing each other’s face during court rituals to precision feeding.
The footprint was discovered by the Wright Coast Fossils group at Sandown Bay, pictured, on the southeastern coast of the island, on February 12, 2020
The footprint was discovered by the Wright Coast Fossils group at Sandown Bay, on the southeast coast of the island, on 12 February 2020