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Map reveals which dinosaurs lived where within the UK

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Britain is probably not famed for its wealthy history of dinosaur species, however the country actually sits among the many top 10 worldwide by way of the variety of fossils discovered.

From megalosaurus to iguanodon, and even the ‘heavy claw’ baryonyx, there have been plenty of big dinosaurs that used to roam what’s now the UK as much as 252 million years ago.

In fact, the British Isles landmass didn’t exist during either the Jurassic or Cretaceous periods. It split off from the North American plate around 130 million years ago and joined what became northern Europe 30 million years later.

But up and down the country persons are never too far-off from where greater than 100 different dinosaur species once walked the Earth, including three cousins of America’s top predator the Tyrannosaurus rex.

MailOnline has created a map showing where stegosaurs, ankylosaurs and ornithopods lived in what was once a ‘dinosaur paradise’, with most fossils recovered from rocks dating to the Middle Jurassic and Cretaceous periods.

The bulk come from Oxfordshire and the Isle of Wight, but significant finds have also been made in Bristol, Cambridgeshire, the south of England, Nottingham and Yorkshire, in addition to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Dr Susannah Maidment, of the Natural History Museum, told MailOnline: ‘In the course of the Early and Middle Jurassic and for much of the Late Cretaceous, much of the UK was under the ocean, meaning that the rocks that were deposited [on land] were marine rocks, and have only a few dinosaurs in them. 

‘Nonetheless, through the Early Cretaceous, in southern England there have been river systems, deltas and lagoons alongside which dinosaurs lived. 

‘We due to this fact have quite quite a lot of dinosaurs from the Early Cretaceous in southern England.’

She added: ‘Much of southern England is roofed by trees, agricultural land and houses, which implies dinosaur fossils don’t often weather out. 

‘Nonetheless, in the ocean cliffs of areas around Hastings on the south coast and the Isle of Wight, dinosaurs are ceaselessly found because the rocks are eroded by the ocean. 

‘This makes southern England and particularly the Isle of Wight one of the best place within the UK to seek out dinosaur fossils.’

Where dinosaurs lived near you: MailOnline has created a map showing where the likes of megalosaurus, ankylosaurs and ornithopods walked in what’s now Britain, with most fossils recovered from rocks dating to the Middle Jurassic and Cretaceous period

Sauropods

Sauropods were the primary successful group of herbivorous dinosaurs, dominating most terrestrial ecosystems for greater than 140 million years, from the Late Triassic to Late Cretaceous. 

That they had long necks and tails and comparatively small skulls and brains.

The dinosaurs stretched to 130 feet (40 metres) and weighed as much as 80 tonnes (80,000kg) — 14 times the load of an African elephant.

They were also widespread – their stays have been found on all of the continents except Antarctica – and in Britain, several of the species detailed below are literally sorts of sauropod.

The explanation some fossils present in the UK are only classified as belonging to sauropods, quite than anything more specific, is because it may well often be difficult to discover a certain sort of dinosaur based on what could also be limited stays discovered.

Sauropods resembling the Diplodocus began to diversify within the Middle Jurassic about 180 million years ago.

That they had nostrils high up on their skulls, quite than being positioned at the tip of the snout like those of so many other terrestrial vertebrates. 

Some fossils show that these nostril openings were to date up the skull that there have been very near the attention openings.

Where did they live within the UK?

Sauropod stays have been found everywhere in the UK, including Britain’s oldest example often known as Alan which was revealed in 2015. The long-necked, plant-eating dinosaur roamed what’s now the North Yorkshire coast 176 million years ago through the Middle Jurassic period.

It was nicknamed Alan after the walker who found its fossilised vertebra, Alan Gurr. 

The massive vertebrae, which measured 11 inches (29 cm) long and 4 inches (11cm) high, fell out of a cliff face in Whitby.

Sauropods have also been present in Dorset, Sussex, the Isle of Wight, Lincolnshire, Northamptonshire, Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire.

Sauropods were the first successful group of herbivorous dinosaurs, dominating most terrestrial ecosystems for more than 140 million years, from the Late Triassic to Late Cretaceous

Sauropods were the primary successful group of herbivorous dinosaurs, dominating most terrestrial ecosystems for greater than 140 million years, from the Late Triassic to Late Cretaceous

Britain's oldest sauropod dinosaur was identified by a piece of fossilised backbone (pictured) discovered on the North Yorkshire coast

Britain’s oldest sauropod dinosaur was identified by a chunk of fossilised backbone (pictured) discovered on the North Yorkshire coast

The large vertebrae, which measured 11 inches (29 cm) long and four inches (11cm) high, fell out of a cliff face in Whitby

The massive vertebrae, which measured 11 inches (29 cm) long and 4 inches (11cm) high, fell out of a cliff face in Whitby 

Theropods

By the identical token, a few of the dinosaurs below are also theropods. Fossils belonging to the group have been found throughout Britain, although not all of them have been broken down into specific types. 

Theropods were two-legged, typically predatory dinosaurs with hole bones and three-legged toes from which modern birds are thought to have evolved.

It’s the group which incorporates Tyrannosaurus rex and modern birds. In fact, T.Rex lived throughout what’s now western North America, but three cousins of the fearsome carnivore called Britain home.

That’s in response to Dr Dean Lomax, who’s a palaeontologist and Visiting Scientist at The University of Manchester.

He has claimed that T-rex’s UK cousins were likely smaller and more agile.

Tyrannosaurs rex (pictured) was a species of bird-like, meat-eating dinosaur classified as a theropod. It lived between 68–66 million years ago in what is now the western side of North America, but three cousins of the carnivore called the UK home

Tyrannosaurs rex (pictured) was a species of bird-like, meat-eating dinosaur classified as a theropod. It lived between 68–66 million years ago in what’s now the western side of North America, but three cousins of the carnivore called the UK home

A number of bones that were found on the Isle of Wight (pictured) belong to a new species of theropod dinosaur that was a cousin of the Tyrannosaurus rex, according to researchers

Quite a few bones that were found on the Isle of Wight (pictured) belong to a recent species of theropod dinosaur that was a cousin of the Tyrannosaurus rex, in response to researchers

After studying the four vertebrae, palaeontologists from the University of Southampton confirmed that the bones are likely to belong to a genus of dinosaur previously unknown to science

After studying the 4 vertebrae, palaeontologists from the University of Southampton confirmed that the bones are prone to belong to a genus of dinosaur previously unknown to science

Where did they live within the UK?

Pendraig milnerae is the earliest example of a theropod present in the UK to date, living between 200 and 215 million years ago through the Late Triassic period. It likely had a body size around that of a modern-day chicken and would have been 3 feet (1 metre) long including its tail.

Theropods stays have also been present in the next areas: 

  • Antrim
  • Avon
  • Dorset
  • Glamorgan
  • Gloucestershire
  • Isle of Skye
  • Isle of Wight
  • North Yorkshire
  • Oxfordshire
  • Somerset
  • Sussex
  • Swansea
  • Warwickshire
  • Wiltshire

Megalosaurus

Megalosaurus, which implies Great Lizard, was a meat-eating dinosaur which lived within the Middle Jurassic, around 167 million years ago.

It could have been about nine metres long and weighed about 1.4 tonnes (1,400 kg).

This dinosaur had a big head and short forelimbs, walked on two legs and used its horizontal tail for balance. 

Megalosaurus (pictured in this artist's impression), which means Great Lizard, was a meat-eating dinosaur which lived in the Middle Jurassic, around 167 million years ago

Megalosaurus (pictured on this artist’s impression), which implies Great Lizard, was a meat-eating dinosaur which lived within the Middle Jurassic, around 167 million years ago

The footprint of a 175million-year-old dinosaur described as being a 'real Jurassic giant' was spotted on the Yorkshire coast by a woman collecting shellfish for dinner. Archaeologist Marie Woods was 'shocked' to stumble across the 3ft-long trace fossil

The footprint of a 175million-year-old dinosaur described as being a ‘real Jurassic giant’ was spotted on the Yorkshire coast by a girl collecting shellfish for dinner. Archaeologist Marie Woods was ‘shocked’ to stumble across the 3ft-long trace fossil

Where did it live within the UK?

The primary stays of megalosaurus to be discovered in Britain were present in a slate quarry in Stonesfield, Oxfordshire in 1824 and date to the late Middle Jurassic period.

There’s also evidence to suggest megalosaurus could have lived in what’s now North York Moors National Park in north-eastern Yorkshire.

Fossilised bones linked to the species have also been present in Portland, Dorset, in addition to the next counties:

  • North Gloucestershire
  • Northamptonshire
  • Somerset
  • Sussex
  • Bedfordshire

Baryonyx

Baryonyx was a big theropod dinosaur that lived within the Early Cretaceous period 125 million years ago.

It has a big claw, about 12 inches (31cm) long, probably on its thumb, and was a carnivorous species that ate up fish and Iguanodon.

The creature could have waded in rivers and shallow seas to catch fish, just as some modern-day bears do. 

Baryonyx was about 32ft (10m) long, weighed around two tonnes (2,000kg) and had a mouth that was very much like that of a crocodile.

Baryonyx (pictured) was a large theropod dinosaur that lived in the Early Cretaceous period 125 million years ago

Baryonyx (pictured) was a big theropod dinosaur that lived within the Early Cretaceous period 125 million years ago

Where did it live within the UK?  

The primary skeleton was discovered in 1983 within the Smokejack Clay Pit in Surrey by the British amateur fossil hunter William Walker. 

It was the primary carnivorous dinosaur present in England and probably the most complete example of its species.

When this dinosaur lived, the south of England right down to the northern fringe of France was mostly an enormous expanse of swampy lagoons and meandering rivers. 

Fossilised bones linked to the species have also been present in East Sussex.

Cetiosaurus

Cetiosaurus was a sauropod dinosaur that was about 53ft (16m) long and weighed roughly 11 tonnes (11,000kg).

It lived from the Mid to Late Jurassic period 181-169 million years ago, in what at the moment are Europe and Africa. 

The creature got its name because its discoverer, Sir Richard Owen, thought it was an especially large crocodile.  

Owen initially didn’t recognise cetiosaurus for a dinosaur but believed it to  be a huge sea-dwelling reptile.

Where did it live within the UK? 

Various kinds of cetiosaurus have been found across Britain, including cetiosaurus oxoniensis in Rutland, Lincolnshire, cetiosauriscus stewarti in Peterborough, Cambridgeshire and cetiosaurus oxoniensis near Cirencester, Gloucestershire.

Stays have also been discovered in the next areas:

  • Isle of Wight
  • Leicestershire
  • Northamptonshire
  • Oxfordshire
  • Sussex
  • Wiltshire

Neovenator 

Meaning ‘recent hunter’, neovenator lived within the Early Cretaceous period 127-121 million years ago.

It was a big theropod that was carnivorous and grew as much as 24ft (7.4m) in length and weigh as much as two tonnes (2,000kg).

'The pointed toes of this track may indicate a type of dinosaur known as a large theropod, perhaps Neovenator [pictured] or the Spinosaurus Baryonyx,' Theo Vickers said

‘The pointed toes of this track may indicate a sort of dinosaur often known as a big theropod, perhaps Neovenator [pictured] or the Spinosaurus Baryonyx,’ Theo Vickers said

The print — shown here highlighted — is thought to have been left by a Neovenator — a carnivore that could reach 25 feet (7.6 m) in length and weigh up to 4,400 pounds (2,000 kg).

The print — shown here highlighted — is assumed to have been left by a Neovenator — a carnivore that would reach 25 feet (7.6 m) in length and weigh as much as 4,400 kilos (2,000 kg).

Palaeontologists believe that Neovenator could walk on its long hind legs — and had three clawed toes on each foot and three digits on each fore limb

Palaeontologists consider that Neovenator could walk on its long hind legs — and had three clawed toes on each foot and three digits on each fore limb

Where did it live within the UK?

A neovenator footprint believed to be 130 million years old was found on Sandown Bay, on the Isle of Wight’s southeastern coast, on February 12, 2020.

The primary-found fossil of neovenator was unearthed on the Isle of Wight in the summertime of 1978.

Notable fossilised finds found on the Isle of Wight in recent times

210-pound ammonite 

Pictured, an ammonite which has been described as a 'behemoth' and as 'truly titanic'

Pictured, an ammonite which has been described as a ‘behemoth’ and as ‘truly titanic’ 

An infinite fossil weighing almost 210 kilos and measuring around two feet in diameter was found on the Isle of Wight in 2020.

The ammonite was spotted and pried loose of surrounding rock by university students Jack Wonfor, 19, and Theo Vickers, 21.

Ammonites are extinct sea creatures and a part of the mollusc family, like sea snails, with Mr Wonfor and Mr Vickers calling their specimen an ‘amazing example’.  

The 210-pound (96kg) fossil is regarded as around 115 million years old, living through the Cretaceous period. 

Iguanodon tail 

The fossilised remains of the the dinosaur — believed to be an iguanodon — were found embedded at the base a cliff-face near Brighstone

The fossilised stays of the the dinosaur — believed to be an iguanodon — were found embedded at the bottom a cliff-face near Brighstone

A fossilised tail from a dinosaur that roamed the world 125million years ago was discovered at the underside of a crumbling cliff on the Isle of Wight in 2019.

The stays of the the dinosaur — believed to be an iguanodon — were found embedded at the bottom a cliff-face near Brighstone.

But excavations and attempts to salvage the tail for detailed evaluation are currently being thwarted, as a result of safety risks posed by the crumbling cliff.

It is assumed around six vertebrae have been uncovered, and native media reported that the dinosaur died and was exposed to the weather for several months before being buried by a big flash flood.

Footprint uncovered of a 130 million-year-old therapod

A dinosaur footprint, pictured, uncovered on a beach on the Isle of Wight by Storm Ciara belongs to a 130-million-year-old therapod, fossil hunters claim

A dinosaur footprint, pictured, uncovered on a beach on the Isle of Wight by Storm Ciara belongs to a 130-million-year-old therapod, fossil hunters claim

A dinosaur footprint uncovered on a beach on the Isle of Wight by Storm Ciara belongs to a 130-million-year-old therapod, fossil hunters claim.

The print is assumed to have been left by a Neovenator — a carnivore that would reach 25 feet (7.6 m) in length and weigh as much as 4,400 kilos (2,000 kg).

The footprint was discovered by the Wight Coast Fossils group at Sandown Bay, on the island’s southeastern coast, on February 12, 2020.

Chinese pterodactyl  

The fossil of a pterosaur that is usually present in China and Brazil was found on the Isle of Wight.

The petrified stays of the flying reptile’s jawbone was spotted by a dog walker in Sandown Bay, on the island’s south-east coast.

The jaw of the specimen — which has been dubbed ‘Wightia declivirostris’ — lacked teeth and is expounded to a bunch of pterosaurs often known as the ‘tapejarids’.

125million-year-old superpterosaur with 20ft wingspan

With a 20-foot wingspan and weighing a colossal 650lbs, the enormous pterosaur forged an imposing figure swooping through the skies of the Jurassic Age.

And 125million years later, the beast’s massive size continues to marvel scientists who’ve discovered the stays of considered one of the beasts wedged deep into the cliffs of the Isle of Wight.

The Hatzegopteryx fossil has shed recent light on this magnificent species which some consider was the largest flying creature of the period.

Tiny crocodile that roamed Earth 126 million years ago 

Pictured, f a 126million-year-old crocodile

Pictured, the stays of a 126million-year-old crocodile 

A news species of crocodile that lived 126million years ago was discovered after a pair of skull fragments were found three months apart back in 2014.

Two fragments of crocodile fossils were found by two different collectors and led to the invention of the traditional button-toothed crocodile.

It might need only measured two feet long, however the diminutive crocodile walked with Dinosaurs and had sharp teeth. 

Based upon the 2 fragments, which were pieced together on the Isle of Wight and together measure around 11cm long, the animal is assumed to have been around 2ft long from nose to tail.

A chunk from the back half of the crocodile’s skull was found on a beach near Sandown on the island by collector Diane Trevarthen.

Crow-sized flying dinosaur that lived 115 million years ago

Pictured, the fossil found by Daisy Morris which belongs to a previously unknown type of pterosaur

Pictured, the fossil found by Daisy Morris which belongs to a previously unknown sort of pterosaur

A young girl, then just five years old, called Daisy Morris, spotted a fossil on the Isle of Wight in 2008. 

Palaeontologists later studied the stays and located it was a previously unknown sort of pterosaur.

It was named Vectidraco Daisymorrisae after Daisy was roughly the scale of a crow and was a previously unknown sort of pterosaur.

The flying reptile is from 115 million years ago within the Lower Cretaceous period.

With a pelvis length of 40 mm, the brand new animal would have had a complete length of 350 mm, and a wingspan of 750 mm, the researchers say.

The pterosaur has now been donated to the Natural History Museum.

Echinodon

Meaning ‘hedgehog tooth’ or ‘prickly tooth’, echinodon is a sort of heterodontosaurid dinosaur that lived through the earliest Cretaceous of southern England and possibly western France within the Berriasian epoch. 

The primary specimens were jaw bones named echinodon becklesii by Sir Richard Owen in 1861. Since their original description only additional teeth have been discovered.  

When Owen first named echinodon he thought he was coping with a lizard that had an analogous lifestyle to a hedgehog, hence its title.

Where did it live within the UK? 

Stays of echinodon becklesii were discovered by Samuel Beckles within the Purbeck Beds near Swanage in Dorset on the Jurassic Coast.

Starting in Exmouth, East Devon and continuing for 95 miles to Old Harry Rocks near Swanage, the Jurassic Coast is England’s only natural World Heritage Site due to the outstanding value of its rocks, fossils and landforms.

Meaning 'hedgehog tooth' or 'prickly tooth', echinodon is a type of heterodontosaurid dinosaur that lived during the earliest Cretaceous of southern England and possibly western France in the Berriasian epoch

Meaning ‘hedgehog tooth’ or ‘prickly tooth’, echinodon is a sort of heterodontosaurid dinosaur that lived through the earliest Cretaceous of southern England and possibly western France within the Berriasian epoch

Pantydraco

A sort of prosauropod, pantydraco was a herbivore which lived through the Early Jurassic period in Wales.

The small, plant-eating dinosaur – whose name means ‘Pant-y-ffynnon dragon’ – would only have been about 6.5 feet (2 metres) long.

It had a pointed head with a powerful jaw. The forelimbs of the dinosaur were developed for grasping while the hindlimbs were adapted for supporting the creature’s body weight.

A type of prosauropod, pantydraco (pictured) was a herbivore which lived during the Early Jurassic period in Wales

A sort of prosauropod, pantydraco (pictured) was a herbivore which lived through the Early Jurassic period in Wales

Where did it live within the UK? 

A partial juvenile skeleton of pantydraco was discovered in a quarry in Bonvilston in South Wales in 1952.

The estimated height of a juvenile is from about 2 feet 4 inches to three feet 3 inches (0.7 to 1 metre), while adults are believed to have been about slightly below 10 feet (3 metres) long. 

Iguanodon

Iguanodons were herbivores that measured as much as 30 feet (10 metres) tall and weighed greater than 4 tonnes (4,000kg).

They walked the earth around 132 million years ago, through the Lower Cretaceous period.

Iguanodons would have been prey for considered one of England’s biggest predators, Baryonyx, a relative of Spinosaurus.

That they had a highly specialised, five-fingered hand which might have made them excellent foragers, while a thumb spike is considered one of the dinosaur species’ best-known features.

It could have made a superb stiletto-style weapon against predators and likewise might have been used to interrupt into fruit.

Experts also believed that iguanodons held their long, heavy tail high within the air for balance.

The genus was named in 1825 by English geologist Gideon Mantell.

Iguanodons were herbivores that measured up to 30 feet (10 metres) tall and weighed more than four tonnes (4,000kg)

Iguanodons were herbivores that measured as much as 30 feet (10 metres) tall and weighed greater than 4 tonnes (4,000kg)

Fossilised remains of a dinosaur's tail (pictured) — believed to belong to an iguanodon — were found at the bottom of a crumbling cliff on the Isle of Wight in 2020

Fossilised stays of a dinosaur’s tail (pictured) — believed to belong to an iguanodon — were found at the underside of a crumbling cliff on the Isle of Wight in 2020

Where did it live within the UK? 

Iguanodons have been discovered in the next areas: 

  • Bedfordshire
  • Buckinghamshire
  • Cambridgeshire
  • Dorset
  • East Sussex
  • Isle of Wight
  • Surrey
  • Sussex

WHAT IS AN IGUANODON DINOSAUR?

Iguanodon is a genus of herbivorous dinosaurs which could grow to the scale of an African elephant and run at 14mph (23kmh).

They walked the earth around 132 million years ago, through the Lower Cretaceous period. 

They grew to around 10 feet (three metres) tall, 30 feet (10 metres) long and weighed 4.5 tons. 

Different species flourished in each Europe and North America. 

They might have been prey for considered one of England’s biggest predators, Baryonyx, a relative of Spinosaurus.

These large dinosaurs were capable of walk on each two legs or all 4.

That they had a highly specialised, five-fingered hand which might have made them excellent foragers.

The thumb spike is considered one of their best-known features.

It could have made a superb stiletto-style weapon against predators and likewise might have been used to interrupt into fruit.

It’s believed they held their long, heavy tail high within the air for balance.

The genus was named in 1825 by English geologist Gideon Mantell. 

Ankylosaurs

Ankylosaurs were wide-bodied, four-legged dinosaurs covered in bony plates and spikes.

The oldest known ankylosaur dated from around 160 million years ago, through the Jurassic Period.

A bony tail club – a bludgeon utilized in combat which will have given even the ferocious Tyrannosaurus rex reason to fret – was possessed by the heavily armoured dinosaur ankylosaurus and its cousins.

Where did it live within the UK? 

Ankylosaur stays have been discovered in the next areas: 

  • Cambridgeshire
  • Dorset
  • Kent
  • Sussex
  • Wiltshire

Ankylosaurs (artist impression pictured) were wide-bodied, four-legged dinosaurs covered in bony plates and spikes

Ankylosaurs (artist impression pictured) were wide-bodied, four-legged dinosaurs covered in bony plates and spikes

KILLING OFF THE DINOSAURS: HOW A CITY-SIZED ASTEROID WIPED OUT 75 PER CENT OF ALL ANIMAL AND PLANT SPECIES

Around 66 million years ago non-avian dinosaurs were worn out and greater than half the world’s species were obliterated.

This mass extinction paved the best way for the rise of mammals and the looks of humans.

The Chicxulub asteroid is commonly cited as a possible reason for the Cretaceous-Paleogene extinction event.

The asteroid slammed right into a shallow sea in what’s now the Gulf of Mexico.

The collision released an enormous dust and soot cloud that triggered global climate change, wiping out 75 per cent of all animal and plant species.

Researchers claim that the soot needed for such a worldwide catastrophe could only have come from a direct impact on rocks in shallow water around Mexico, that are especially wealthy in hydrocarbons.

Inside 10 hours of the impact, an enormous tsunami waved ripped through the Gulf coast, experts consider.

Around 66 million years ago non-avian dinosaurs were wiped out and more than half the world's species were obliterated. The Chicxulub asteroid is often cited as a potential cause of the Cretaceous-Paleogene extinction event (stock image)

Around 66 million years ago non-avian dinosaurs were worn out and greater than half the world’s species were obliterated. The Chicxulub asteroid is commonly cited as a possible reason for the Cretaceous-Paleogene extinction event (stock image)

This caused earthquakes and landslides in areas so far as Argentina. 

While investigating the event researchers found small particles of rock and other debris that was shot into the air when the asteroid crashed.

Called spherules, these small particles covered the planet with a thick layer of soot.

Experts explain that losing the sunshine from the sun caused an entire collapse within the aquatic system.

It is because the phytoplankton base of virtually all aquatic food chains would have been eliminated.

It’s believed that the greater than 180 million years of evolution that brought the world to the Cretaceous point was destroyed in lower than the lifetime of a Tyrannosaurus rex, which is about 20 to 30 years.

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