New Plant-Consuming Dinosaur Unveiled: Vectidromeus insularis


Fossils of a small hypsilophodontid dinosaur unearthed on the Isle of Wight in southern England have been acknowledged as belonging to a brand new genus and species.

Life reconstruction of Vectidromeus insularis. Image credit: Emily Willoughby.

Life reconstruction of Vectidromeus insularis. Picture credit score: Emily Willoughby.

Vectidromeus insularis roamed Earth throughout the Early Cretaceous epoch, about 125 million years in the past.

This dinosaur was barely greater than a hen and was a kind of hypsilophodontid (Hypsilophodontidae), a gaggle of nimble, bipedal herbivores that lived alongside early tyrannosaurs, spinosaurs, and Iguanodon.

Vectidromeus insularis is a detailed relative of Hypsilophodon foxii, a dinosaur initially described within the Victorian period, and one of many first dinosaurs to be described from comparatively full stays,” mentioned College of Bathtub paleontologist Nicholas Longrich and colleagues.

“Small and with gracile, with bird-like hindlimbs, hypsilophodonts have been utilized by well-known scientist Thomas Henry Huxley as proof that birds have been associated to dinosaurs.”

Hypsilophodon foxii can also be discovered on the Isle of Wight, however was discovered greater up within the rocks, maybe two or three million years youthful than Vectidromeus insularis.”

Vectidromeus insularis differs in particulars of the hip bones, suggesting it’s a carefully associated however distinct species.”

A partial skeleton of a juvenile Vectidromeus insularis was discovered within the decrease a part of the Wessex Formation at Sudmoor Level on the Isle of Wight, a diamond-shaped isle with an east-west lengthy axis of roughly 37 km and a north-south axis of 21 km.

“This thrilling new discover is the newest in a line of latest discoveries from the Isle of Wight,” mentioned Dinosaur Isle Museum paleontologist Martin Munt.

The brand new species is the second member of the Hypsilophodontidae household to be discovered on the island, suggesting that Europe had its circle of relatives of small herbivorous dinosaurs, distinct from these present in Asia and North America.

“We had a curious scenario the place one of many first dinosaur households to be recognised had only one species. And now, we now have two,” Dr. Longrich mentioned.

“What’s intriguing is that they’re not notably carefully associated to something present in North America, Asia, or the southern hemisphere.”

“We’re nonetheless piecing collectively how all these dinosaurs are associated, and the way dinosaurs moved between continents.”

“After Pangea broke up, there was a variety of isolation, resulting in completely different sorts of dinosaurs evolving on every continent.”

“It’s completely weird that so many new dinosaurs are being found on the Isle of Wight,” mentioned College of Portsmouth’s Professor Dave Martill.

Vectidromeus insularis is the seventh new species of dinosaur to be found within the final 4 years. That is all right down to the newbie collectors.”

The invention of Vectidromeus insularis is described in a paper within the journal Cretaceous Analysis.


Nicholas R. Longrich et al. Vectidromeus insularis, a brand new hypsilophodontid dinosaur from the Decrease Cretaceous Wessex Formation of the Isle of Wight, England. Cretaceous Analysis, printed on-line September 13, 2023; doi: 10.1016/j.cretres.2023.105707



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