In 2009, the fossilized remains of an animal were discovered along a sandy beach on the Isle of Wight. The discoverer was Daisy Morris and she was just 5 years old at the time. She and her family collected the remains, which were brought to Martin Simpson, a professor of palaeontology at the University of Southhampton.
After nearly four years of research and study, the dinosaur experts at the university determined that the remains were from an unknown dinosaur species. The fossil is from a small pterosaur species that existed nearly 115 million years ago. The flying dinosaur is a brand new genus and species of animal which lived during the Lower Cretaceous period.
Mum Sian, 44, said: ‘She is fascinated by it.
‘If we are in the car and we go past an animal that has died, she’ll ask me to stop so we can pick it up and she can take it home.
‘She’ll put them under a crate in the garden and let it decompose.
‘The flies lay eggs and maggots clean the skeleton, then she collects the bones.
‘If your child is good at drawing or dancing and they enjoy it, then you encourage them and this is what Daisy enjoys, so her Dad and I have never said eurgh, we’ve tried to encourage her.
‘Rather than say that’s disgusting, we’d like to help her find out about things.
She’s fascinated and we’re very proud of her.’
The dinosaur will be named Vectidraco Daisymorrisae. The first part means “dragon from the Isle of Wight” and the second half after the little girl. The pterosaur fossil will reside at the British National History Museum. The Isle of Wight had recently been labeled the “dinosaur capital” of the United Kingdom.
Simpson was certain the dinosaur would have been destroyed, given its location along Atherfield Beach. The Isle has numerous areas of increased erosion and the fossil would have been lost if not for Daisy Morris.
Daisy, five, discovers dinosaur
The five year old girl who found an entirely new species of flying dinosaur on an Isle of Wight beach – which scientists named in her honour