LONDON.-The Isle of wightIn England, it was known as the “island of fear”, since it was inhabited by two huge predatory dinosaurs about 127 million years ago.
The fossils found on a beach show that there existed a couple of large dinosaurs unknown until now that perhaps lived next to each other, both adapted to hunting at the water’s edge.
Scientists announced the discovery of fossils of the two carnivores of the Cretaceous -both about 9 meters long and with elongated skulls similar to those of crocodiles- in the southwest of the island, one of the richest places in dinosaur remains.
Both are examples of a type of dinosaur called a spinosaurus, known for its long, narrow skulls with many conical teeth, perfect for grabbing slippery fish, as well as its strong arms and large claws.
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One of them is called Ceratosuchops inferodios, which means “crocodile-faced hell heron“.
The name refers to a heron due to the lifestyle of that bird, which searches for food on the coast. Ceratosuchops had a series of low horns and protrusions that adorned the region of the forehead.
The second is called Riparovenator milnerae, which means “Milner’s bank hunter”, in honor of the British paleontologist Angela Milner, died in August. It is possible that it was slightly larger than the Ceratosuchops.
It is estimated that each of them weighed around one or two tons, with skulls around a meter long, according to Chris Barker, PhD student in paleontology at the University of Southampton and lead author of the study published in the journal Scientific Reports.
“They would have both been heron-type inshore hunters, wading through the water and pushing their heads down quickly to grab things like fish, little turtles, etc., and on land they would do something similar, grabbing baby dinosaurs or the like.
They basically ate whatever little thing they could grab, “said paleontologist and study co-author David Hone of Queen Mary University of London.
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Spinosaurs were part of the large group of carnivorous bipedal dinosaurs called theropods, among which was the Tyrannosaurus rex.
As semi-aquatic hunters, spinosaurs targeted different prey and lacked the massive, square skull and large serrated teeth of T. rex, which inhabited North America some 60 million years later.