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The University of Southampton
Biological Sciences

Research project: A Description of new baryonychine (Theropoda: Spinosauridae) material and assessment of trigeminal (palaeo) neuroanatomy in extinct and extant archosaurs

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Dinosaurs are some of the most charismatic of the fossils. Of them all, spinosaurs are some of the most exciting, which may offer evidence for a somewhat aquatic lifestyle. We have novel material from the Isle of Wight which will help us answer life history questions, about this enigmatic group.

The Spinosaurs are amongst the most interesting of the dinosaur groups.  Since the discovery of Spinosaurus in 1905, and Baryonyx in the 1980s these dinosaurs have demonstrated a potential life habit, no other dinosaur has. They may be aquatic!  With clear adaptations to eating fish, and other potential neurosensory abilities, just where and how were these animals living?

Using new material recovered from the Isle of Wight, these questions can be addressed, to try and better understand the palaeoecology of the group.

The project will also describe any other dinosaur material that comes to light, such as the ne Genus and species of theropod Vectaerovenator inopinatus from the Lower Greensand.

Image: Artist’s impression of Vectaerovenator coming to settle in sediments that will 116 million years later form the Lower Greensand of the Isle of Wight. © Trudie Wilson

Artist’s impression of Vectaerovenator
Image credit: Trudie Wilson

Principal Supervisor: Dr Neil J. Gostling
Co-supervisors: Dr Philipp Schneider (FEPS); Dr Claire Clarkin (FELS) 
PGR student: Mr Chris T. Barker

Funding providerIfLS (FELS) and Tizard (FEPS)
Funding dates: October 2019- December 2022

Related research groups

Ecology and Evolution
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