World's smallest dinosaur found

Ben Mitchell
Sunday 23 October 2011 02:59
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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 dinosaur has been identified by Darren Naish and Steve Sweetman, palaeontologists at the University of Portsmouth, as coming from the Mesozoic era, which began about 250 million years ago.

The new specimen, which was carnivorous or omnivorous, has been identified from a single neck vertebra measuring 2.8 inches.

This contains enough information to show the dinosaur, nicknamed the Ashdown maniraptoran, was part of a group that included all of the two-legged, meat-eating theropod dinosaurs.

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