Fossils found of bird-like dinosaur that ripped its prey apart with claws

The creature was a more heavily-built relative of the velociraptor predator which featured in the Jurassic Park movie and belonged to a group of dinosaurs called dromaeosaurs, or raptors.

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A new bird-like dinosaur that used brute strength to overcome its prey has been found by palaeontologists re-examining fossils found nearly two decades ago on the Isle of Wight.

The new animal has been named vectiraptor greeni after local collector Mick Green, who discovered its bones after they became washed from the rocks on the island’s south coast.

The creature was a more heavily-built relative of the velociraptor predator which featured in the Jurassic Park movie and belonged to a group of dinosaurs called dromaeosaurs, or raptors.

The find of the first large raptor in the UK has been confirmed by scientists from the universities of Bath and Portsmouth.

Handout artist's recreation issued by University of Bath of Vectiraptor greeni. A new bird-like dinosaur that used brute strength to overcome its prey has been found by palaeontologists re-examining fossils found nearly two decades ago on the Isle of Wight. The new animal has been named vectiraptor greeni after local collector Mick Green, who discovered its bones after they became washed from the rocks on the island's south coast. Issue date: Tuesday December 21, 2021.
Handout artist's recreation issued by University of Bath of Vectiraptor greeni. A new bird-like dinosaur that used brute strength to overcome its prey has been found by palaeontologists re-examining fossils found nearly two decades ago on the Isle of Wight. The new animal has been named vectiraptor greeni after local collector Mick Green, who discovered its bones after they became washed from the rocks on the island's south coast. Issue date: Tuesday December 21, 2021.

Dr Nick Longridch, from the University of Bath, said: “This was a large and very heavily constructed animal.

“The bones are thick-walled and massive. It clearly didn’t hunt small prey, but animals as large or larger than itself.”

The vectiraptor was about the size of a wolf, about 3m (10ft) long, and would have used its huge slashing talons on its feet to kill its prey and its finely serrated teeth to bite off pieces.

The dinosaur dates back 125 million years ago to the early cretaceous period but the fossils lay buried until 2004 when they exposed when storms and waves eroded away the rocks they were hidden in.

Dr Longrich added: “It’s a tantalising hint at the diversity of dinosaurs in England at this time.

“This is the first time a large raptor has been found in the UK.

“There’s an extraordinary diversity of dinosaurs known in England in the cretaceous, and even after more than a century of study, we continue to find new species.”