A little dinosaur around the size of a chicken has been discovered in the United Kingdom as the oldest of its type. The newly discovered dinosaur species was first sighted in a Welsh quarry and are a theropod, a group that includes Tyrannosaurus rex and some other normal birds. It was approximately a meter long, including its tail, and lived between 200 and 215 million years ago, during the beginning of the evolution of dinosaurs.
Pendraig milnerae lived around the beginning of the development of dinosaurs. The bones proved that it was a meat-eater, although these creatures were very tiny before in this group, in comparison with the famous meat-eaters like T. rex, which evolved a lot later.
The meaning of the name “Pendraig” is Chief Dragon. The name probably says about the dinosaur’s function as an apex predator in the area, as well as its research in Wales. The previous deputy keeper of paleontology at the Natural History Museum helped in finding another very important theropod in the 1980s, an animal known as Baryonyx. The caretaker was also the key to finding Pendraig milnerae.
The researcher was important in putting the specimen in a safe place, which was first researched in the 1980s. They put them into the category of a different dinosaur.
According to a top paleobiology researcher at the museum, they discovered it in a drawer containing crocodile material. They could have had the specimen in their minds’ sight from looking in that drawer before. They would not have found it without the help of the senior researcher.
The creature may also give insight on dwarfism, an evolutionary trait commonly observed on islands, where species tend to be smaller than their mainland equivalents. The study’s findings, however, were not definitive in this regard. During the time period when these specimens were discovered, the whole place was most likely an island.
They conducted many studies to find if Pendraig was an evolving dwarf since the fossil reptiles from this area, including Pendraig, are all very tiny in size. The research shows that Pendraig was certainly tiny, especially for a theropod of the time period, but not unusually so.
Pendraig is a very old dinosaur It dates from the late Triassic period. Putting it at the beginning of dinosaur evolution. Pendraig would definitely have been a fossil when both the T. rex and Velociraptor were stiff-walkers in the Cretaceous period, just before an asteroid hit and wipes them both out 66 million years ago.
The most fascinating thing about this discovery is that we’re seeing the very early stages of dinosaur development. These animals eventually came to rule over the Earth, yet these were only one of the many reptiles that were living on the land in the Late Triassic.
Pendraig would have lived on one of the islands in the archipelago. We can only make assumptions on how this specific species became extinct. However, its skeleton was stored in a gryke, or fissure, in the limestone. Perhaps the dinosaur fell on the stone or maybe it was already dead and flooded away with water. Nobody knows for certain.