Research led by palaeontologists at Southampton suggests that bones found on the Isle of Wight belong to three new species, two of which are spinosaurids, a group of predatory theropod dinosaurs closely related to the giant Spinosaurus.
Chris Barker, PhD student and lead author of the study, and the team named the new dinosaurs Ceratosuchops and Riparovenator. The only spinosaurid skeleton previously unearthed in the UK belonged to Baryonyx, which was initially discovered in 1983 in a quarry in Surrey.
Analysis of the bones carried out at the University suggested they belonged to species of dinosaurs previously unknown to science.
We found the skulls to differ not only from Baryonyx, but also one another, suggesting the UK housed a greater diversity of spinosaurids than previously thought.
Dr Neil Gostling, Lecturer in Evolution and Palaeobiology, who supervised the project, said: “This work has brought together universities, Dinosaur Isle museum and the public to reveal these amazing dinosaurs and the incredibly diverse ecology of the south coast of England 125 million years ago.”
Image: Anthony Hutchings