Dino hunters uncover 48 new species in Britains own Jurassic ParkFebruary 10th, 2009 - 1:41 pm ICT by ANI
London, Feb 10 (ANI): Palaeontologists have found Britains very own Jurassic Park, an area where they have uncovered some 48 new prehistoric species including dinosaurs similar to the deadly velociraptor and giant flying pterosaurs.
According to a report in the Telegraph, a team led by Dr Steve Sweetman, from Portsmouth University, has made the findings, which are quite remarkable, especially as they have been achieved in less than four years.
Dr Sweetmans haul includes eight dinosaurs, six mammals and 15 different types of lizard all taken from cliffs of the Isle of Wight, which are part of what has been dubbed the Jurassic coast.
Highlights include the remains of a creature similar to a giant velociraptor - similar in size to those portrayed in the film Jurassic Park - and pterosaurs as well as long-necked Sauropods like the massive Brachiosaurus, also seen in the movie.
Dr Sweetman made his discoveries during his painstaking search of what has been nicknamed Dinosaur Island as it is the richest source of dinosaur remains in Europe.
The palaeontologist dug up and driven three-and-a-half tonnes of mud across the island to his home before drying out the samples into a sand.
He then examined every grain to reveal tiny fossil bones and teeth dating back up to 130 million years.
Dr Sweetman explained that his technique was more comprehensive than traditional methods which rely on collecting fossils exposed naturally by weather and waves.
It has taken me just four years of hard graft to make my discoveries. In the very first sample, I found a tiny jaw of an extinct newt-sized, salamander-like amphibian and then new species just kept coming, he said.
According to Dr Sweetman, Although we knew a lot about the larger species that existed on the island during the early Cretaceous, no-one had ever filled in the gaps.
With these discoveries, I can paint a really detailed picture of the creatures that scurried at the feet and in the shadows of the dinosaurs, he added.
Scientists admit that the number of species found may partly be explained by the long-standing popularity of dinosaur fossil hunting. (ANI)
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Tags: amphibian, brachiosaurus, dinosaur island, dr steve, fossil bones, isle of wight, jurassic coast, jurassic park, london feb, newt, painstaking search, palaeontologist, portsmouth university, prehistoric species, pterosaurs, salamander, sauropods, sized salamander, sweetman, velociraptor