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New species of flying dinosaur named after 9-year-old UK girl

London, Mar 24, 2013 (PTI) 20:03 IST
Reuters Image

A nine-year-old girl in the UK has had a flying dinosaur named in her honour after she stumbled upon fossilised bones of an undiscovered species on a beach.

Daisy Morris from the Isle of Wight discovered the remains of the species of flying reptile dating back to 220 millions years ago on Atherfield beach four years ago.
The newly discovered species of pterosaur would be called Vectidraco daisymorrisae, 'BBC News' reported.

According to fossil expert Martin Simpson, this was an example of how "major discoveries can be made by amateurs".

Daisy's mother Sian Morris said her daughter started fossil hunting just at the age of three and came across the blackened "bones sticking out of the sand" in 2009, when she was only four years old.

The Morris family approached Southampton University's 'Fossil Man' Simpson with Daisy's finds in 2009.

"I knew I was looking at something very special. And I was right," said Simpson.
The fossil turned out to be a new genus and species of small pterosaur, a flying reptile from the Lower Cretaceous period.

Simpson said the island's eroding coastline meant the fossil would have been "washed away and destroyed if it had not been found by Daisy".

The fossilised remains of the pterosaur has since been donated to the Natural History Museum, the report said.

Pterosaurs were flying reptiles that lived in the same time period as dinosaurs, up to 220 millions years ago.

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