New dinosaur found at brickworks in east Sussex
A new species of dinosaur found at a brickworks is believed to be the world's smallest.
The fossil of the bird-like dinosaur, which measures between 13 and 16 inches in length, was found in one of the pits at the Ashdown Brickworks near Bexhill, East Sussex.
The tiny dinosaur has been identified by Darren Naish and Steve Sweetman, palaeontologists at the University of Portsmouth, as coming from the Mesozoic era, which began approximately 250 million years ago.
The new specimen, which was carnivorous or omnivorous, has been identified from only a single neck vertebra measuring just 2.8 inches long.
This contains enough information to show that the dinosaur, nicknamed the Ashdown maniraptoran, was part of a group that included all of the two-legged, meat-eating dinosaurs called theropods.
The palaeontologists found the new dinosaur has clear similarities with maniraptorans, the group of theropods that includes birds and other bird-like, feathered theropods, making it likely to belong to this group.
Dr Sweetman said: "This is such an exciting find as it represents the smallest dinosaur we have yet discovered in the European fossil record."
The pair were able to confirm that the remains are definitely from a fully-grown dinosaur because the main body of the neck vertebra is fully fused to the arch-shaped part of the vertebra that sits on top, meaning that it was skeletally mature.
The tiny dinosaur, described in the latest issue of Cretaceous Research, was discovered by local fossil collector Dave Brockhurst, who works at the brickworks.
The dinosaur-bearing rocks at the site have yielded many other fossils, including the remains of salamanders, frogs, lizards, turtles, crocodiles, and various kinds of large dinosaur.
- 1 UK weather: Snow to fall in the coming week with sub-zero temperatures to last until early February
- 2 Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
- 3 The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
- 4 Phil Neville backtracks on Tomas Rosicky 'I'd smash him' comments from Match of the Day 2
- 5 British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford faces execution by firing squad in Indonesia
Paris attacks: Do not call Charlie Hebdo killers 'terrorists', BBC says
UK weather: Snow to fall in the coming week with sub-zero temperatures to last until early February
Asteroid narrowly scrapes past Earth: how to watch the closest space rock for decades as it flies by
Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
Prince Philip set to be knighted by Australia: Celebrate by reading his greatest gaffes
Nigel Farage: NHS might have to be replaced by private health insurance
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
French court convicts three over homophobic tweets, in case hailed as a 'significant victory' by LGBT rights campaigners
Greece elections: Syriza and EU on collision course after election win for left-wing party
British Muslim school children suffering a backlash of abuse following Paris attacks
George Galloway condemns 'racist, Islamophobic, hypocritical rag' Charlie Hebdo at freedom of speech rally
£38000 - £42000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: One of the UK's best performing...
£35000 - £43000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Our award-winning client is one...
£15000 - £21000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This leading provider of Atlas ...
£18000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Opportunity to join established...