A new dinosaur species has been discovered in Wales dating back 200million years to the earliest Jurassic period, scientists say. The fossilised skeleton of the dog-sized creature, a theropod dinosaur, is described as a cousin of the giant Tyrannosaurus rex and is believed to be the earliest specimen of a Jurassic era dinosaur ever to walk the Earth. Described as the “find of a life-time”, it was discovered on Lavernock beach near Penarth in the Vale of Glamorgan by two fossil-hunting brothers, Nick and Rob Hanigan after storms in spring 2014. Dr John Nudds, senior lecturer in palaeontology at The University of Manchester said: “It is very rare to find this type of dinosaur at all and never before in Wales.”
Theropods were vicious hunters who would prey on others. This is a very exciting finding that could tell us a lot about how these species were evolving
Dr John Nudds, senior lecturer in palaeontology
A cliff fall on the beach, revealed several loose blocks containing part of the skeleton of the dinosaur, including razor sharp teeth and claws. It is thought that the fossil was from a juvenile animal as some of its bones are not yet fully formed. Research is still under way, with a scientific paper in progress which will reveal the name of this new species in the next few months.
The teeth were small, but needle sharp, slightly curved and with the most wonderful steak-knife serrations on their edges
Dr David Martill, reader in palaeobiology at University of Portsmouth