Home British museum scientists unearthed over 550 new species in 2021

British museum scientists unearthed over 550 new species in 2021


Researchers, scientists, and curators at the Natural History Museum in London discovered over 550 species in 2021 amid the COVID-19 restrictions. 

The discovered species range across different species, from some of the smallest invertebrates swimming in the oceans to ferocious predators that stalked the land millions of years ago.

These include a roly-poly monochromatic beetle, a fan-throated lizard, and a rice rat that may be an example of island gigantism.

According to a Live Science article, these researchers have also unearthed two crocodile-faced dinosaurs, and two carnivorous dinosaurs dug up on the Isle of Wight in the United Kindom, the museum’s largest discovery yet.

Two new species of spinosaurid dinosaurs discovered on the Isle of Wight, named ‘Hell heron’ and ‘Riverbank hunter’. (Image credit: Anthony Hutchings/Live Science)

Extinct spinosaurids, which sported crocodile-like mubs, were affectionately named “hell heron” and “riverbank hunter,” respectively. 

British researchers also unearthed a new dinosaur species, which they named “chief dragon,” the oldest meat-eating dinosaur that has the size of a chicken.

An illustration of the newly described Pendraig milnerae, the oldest known meat-eating dinosaur from the United Kingdom. Next to it are three lizard-like reptiles known scientifically as Clevosaurus cambrica. (Image credit: James Robbins/Live Science)

“It’s been a fantastic year for the description of new dinosaurs, especially from the U.K.,” Susannah Maidment, a senior researcher at the museum, said in a statement

“Although we’ve known about the U.K.’s dinosaur heritage for over 150 years, the application of new techniques and new data from around the world is helping us to uncover a hidden diversity of British dinosaurs.”

Meanwhile, many of the new species found this year have been crustaceans, particularly a group known as copepods. 

As described by the Natural History Museum, copepods are small, shrimp-like creatures found anywhere there is water and critical to the planet’s ecology and the carbon cycle. They are also identified as vital food for fish, krill, and other invertebrates. – WhatALife.ph

Also Read: Perfectly preserved dinosaur embryo was preparing to hatch like a bird

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