Vectiraptor greeni could make a scary movie antagonist. The dinosaur was about the size of a wolf and had scythe-like claws and serrated teeth, suggesting it may have been able to climb trees much like a leopard. It’s assisting scientists in telling the tale of dinosaurs in the United Kingdom.
In the Cretaceous Period, 150 million years ago, it became one of humanity’s most dangerous predators. It’s a distant relative of velociraptors, which were popularized by the Jurassic Park movies. This month, a team of paleontologists revealed the new species in Cretaceous Research.
Based on fossils of vertebrae and hip pieces found on the Isle of Wight, the scientists created the vectiraptor. “This is the first time a large raptor has been discovered in the United Kingdom,” according to a University of Bath statement released today.
The Vectiraptor greeni was named after a local fossil collector, Mick Green, who discovered the fossils. The creature would have lived in a wooded area and hunted efficiently. According to study co-author Nick Longrich of the University of Bath, “This was a huge and rather robust beast.” “The bones are thick-walled and massive. It clearly didn’t hunt small prey, but animals as large or larger than itself.”
The Isle of Wight has produced numerous dinosaur finds, including a distant cousin of T. rex and a “horned crocodile-faced hell heron,” which is described as “a fleshy-faced monster with spikes.” Longrich added, “It’s an enticing hint at the variety of dinosaurs in England around this time.”
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