115 Million Year Old Dinosaur Discovered By A 5 Year Old Girl
At 5 years of age a good day is usually one filled with play time. But for Daisy Morris, it was a chance to mark her name down in history by discovering a brand new dinosaur.
Daisy actually made the discovery at age 5 back in 2008. She went on a fossil hunting trip with her family on the Isle of Wight and found the fossil on Atherfield beach. She then took what turned out to be a 40mm long fossilezed pelvis to Martin Simpson, a palaeontologists and dinosaur expert in the National Oceanography Centre at the University of Southampton.
After some deliberation and consulting with other experts (Dr. Darren Naish and Dr Gareth Dyke), it turned out to be both a new species and genus of dinosaur. It’s just taken this long to confirm that fact. Apparently we’re also very lucky Daisy found it, as due to its location there was every chance it could have been washed away never to be discovered.
As Daisy found it, she also got her name associated with the dinosaur. It will be forever known as the Vertidraco daisymorrisae. The first part, Vertidraco, means “dragon of the Isle of Wight,” while daisymorrisae is the name of the new species. The dinosaur is thought to have been about the same size as a large crow (75cm wingspan, 35cm long) and lived 115 million years ago. It’s a small pterosaur or flying reptile and was around during the Lower Cretaceous period. The experts think it is from the group of short snouted pterodactyloids known as azhdarchoids.
It’s not often someone gets the opportunity to discover a new dinosaur, and even more surprising when a 5 year old manages to find one. But it just goes to show, the inquisitive nature of children can lead them to find things most of us would probably miss.