Thursday, June 16, 2011
Smallest Dinosaur: 'Ashdown Maniraptoran' Fossil sets world record
BEXHILL, East Sussex, UK -- Dave Brockhurst, 51, a part-time fossil collector has unearthed the vertebrae of "Ashdown Maniraptoran," a fossil of the small, bird-like dinosaur at a brickworks in Sussex; paleontologists from the University of Portsmouth said it was likely to have been between 13 inches (33 centimetres) and 16 inches (40 centimetres) in length - setting the new world record for Smallest Dinosaur.
Photo: The scientists said the World's Smallest Dinosaur would have roamed Britain over 250 million years ago. An artist's impression of the Ashdown maniraptoran'. Credit: Matt Martyniuk / University of Portsmouth (enlarge photo)
The previous World's Smallest Dinoaur was
North America's Hesperonychus elizabethae, a velociraptor-like predator with a nasty curved claw on its toe. It stood about a foot and a half (50 cm) tall and weighed 4 pounds (2 kilograms).
The Guinness world record for the largest collection of dinosaur eggs numbers 10,008 individual samples as of November 2004. It is held at the Heyuan Museum, Guangdong Province, China.
Guinness World Records also recognized the smallest dinosaur footprint discovered to date measures just 1.78 cm (0.7 in) from the heel to the tip of digit III. it was discovered on the Isle of Skye, Highland, UK by Dr Neil Clark (UK) of the Hunterian Museum of the University of Glasgow, UK.
The discovery was made by amateur fossil hunter Dave Brockhurst, 51, who kept it in a drawer in his home for two years before getting in touch with the paleontologists.
"I knew there was something about it that was different but I had no idea what it would turn out to be," Brockhurst told The Sussex Argus.
"It lay in my drawer for a while because I don't know what to do with it," he added. "Then I eventually emailed Dr. Steve Sweetman, who took it on."
It was identified from a single neck vertebrae by Darren Naish and Steve Sweetman at the University of Portsmouth.
Dr Naish said: "It was perhaps an omnivore, eating small animals, including insects, as well as leaves and fruit."
The scientists said the tiny prehistoric creature would have roamed Britain during the Mesoziac era which began approximately 250 million years ago.
Describing the finding in the latest issue of Cretaceous Research, paleontologists from the University of Portsmouth said it was likely to have been between 33 centimeters and 40 centimeters in length, and was most probably a carnivore that survived on a diet of small animals, as well as insects, leaves and fruit.
Dr Darren Naish and Dr. Steve Sweetman analyzed the vertebrae and concluded it was a previously undiscovered species - a feathered dinosaur that walked on two feet and came from the Mesozoic era, which began about 250 million years ago.
"This is such an exciting find as it represents the smallest dinosaur we have yet discovered in the European fossil record," said Sweetman.
Related world records:
Largest Fossil Spider: 165-million-year-old fossil
Most ears on a cat: Luntya The Cat (Video)
Loudest Cat: Smokey The Cat (Video)
Largest natural abalone pearl: Abalone "horn" pearl
Longest Cat: Stewie
Longest recorded migration of any mammal: Humpback Whale
Smalles Cow: Swallow
Smartest monkey: Kanzi the 'talking' Ape
Horse: Einstein the Horse
Horse: Lukas the Horse
ducklings hatched: mallard duck
Rabbit: Darius the Rabbit
Pig: Oscar the Pig
Rabbit: Ralph the rabbit
Animal Migration - The Arctic Tern
genetically engineered trout: Sean Konrad
bullock: The Field Marshall
expensive cow: Missy
expensive sheep: Deveronvale Perfection
snake in captivity: Fluffy
cat: Scarlett's Magic
Largemouth Bass: Manabu Kurita
Chicken Egg: China
living rabbit: Hazel
number of bird species spotted: Alan Davies and Ruth Miller
rabbit: Herman the giant rabbit
living animal: Jonathan the tortoise
school of sharks: the Dubai Aquarium
snake: Leptotyphlops carlae
Thursday, June 16, 2011