Dinosaurs are known today mainly from the preservation of their hard skeletons and teeth.
This vertebra is one of a number of bones from the tail of a 7 metre long meat-eating dinosaur called Neovenator salerii.
First discovered eroding out of the cliffs of the Isle of Wight in the mid 1970’s, it was only identified 20 years later, after considerable research by Steve Hutt, as a new species.
This bone comes from that first specimen. The animal would once have prowled the mud-plains of the southern half of the Island around 125 million years ago.
The wide blades of bone protruding from the upper surface of the vertebra once supported the muscles of a powerful tail. Neovenator translates as ‘new hunter’ and salerii comes from the name of the landowner ‘Salero’ where the beast was found.
So far Neovenator has only been found on the Isle of Wight.
Find out more about Neovenator
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