In a museum drawer in Brighton, a fossil, mistakenly named a shark paddle skeleton, has now been identified as a completely prehistoric flying reptile that has now risen majestically over the Cambridgeshire fence.
Roy Smith, a University of Portsmouth The PhD student identified the creature after realizing that it was more unusual and interesting than its label suggested. He identified the fossil as the tip of the flag of a new creature, the strosor (lizard with wings “from the Greek language), an early vertebrate known to have created a creature and a running plane 228 m-66 m years ago.
This type of hook steroid has been found in North Africa, so Smith and others who have studied the invention say that it is reasonable to assume a resemblance to the frightening-looking creature ornament, which is thought to have wingspan of 4 meters or more.
Smith discovered the creature during a fossil collection at the Booth Museum in Brighton. Fossils were first discovered in the 19th century by workers digging for phosphates in fences, which were sold for a little extra money.
When Smith explored the fossils of so-called shark fins, he realized that some of them were actually pieces of jaws or cranes of sterosors. What needs to be done is similar to shark paddle vertebrae, but with important differences.
Smith said: “One such feature is tiny pores, where the nerves come to the surface and are used for food sensitive by steroids. These are not shark paddle vertebrates, but early archaeologists clearly missed these features.
“The two specimens discovered can be identified as a steroid called ornitostoma, but one additional specimen is clearly different and refers to a new species. This is an ancient mystery.”
Smith, 26, from Derbyshire, has been hunting fossils since he was a boy, but this is his most amazing discovery. He grew up searching for coal mines for fossils, and on Tuesday he was able to see new discoveries being hunted in the waters off Portsmouth, where work is underway on the old city walls. “I didn’t find anything,” he said.
He said he was at work stopping on the day he was found. “I had a little time to kill, so I started going through some other drawers. I was so excited to see this model stuck in a group.”
Victorians interested in the fossils found on the fence included naturalist Sir Richard Owen, who campaigned for the establishment of a natural history museum in London.
“Unfortunately, this model is too fragmented to be the basis for naming new species. Unfortunately, since the fossil record is no longer available, it is doubtful that the remains of this storehouse will be found. But I hope there may be more examples in other museum collections. He plans to continue the search for others once the Govt restrictions are lifted.
Smith’s supervising professor Dave Martill said: “The small crane is small, and differs from the ornithostoma in subtle ways, perhaps from a large white Iran with a heron. Differences in life would have been more with color, call, and behavior than skeleton.
“It’s very exciting – the discovery of this mysterious storehouse in the UK.