Crow-Size Pterosaur Named After 9-Year-Old Fossil Hunter

Crow-Size PterosaurA new species of crow-size pterosaur has been named in honor of the nine-year-old fossil hunter who discovered it, a new study says.

The new species of pterosaur—a type of flying reptile that lived alongside the dinosaurs—was dubbed Vectidraco daisymorrisae after U.K. youngster Daisy Morris.

While exploring the U.K.’s Isle of Wight  in 2008, the then-five-year-old Morris came across blackened “bones sticking out of the sand,” according to the BBC.

The Morris family brought the fossil to paleontologist Martin Simpson at the University of Southampton, who, with the help of colleagues, identified it as a new species.

“In pterosaurs, certain parts of the skeleton, especially the skull and the pelvis, are really distinct between different [species],” explained Andrew Farke, a paleontologist at the Raymond M. Alf Museum of Paleontology in Claremont, California, and editor of the new study in PLoS ONE.

The newfound creature also belonged to a group of pterosaurs called the azhdarchoids, which, “in my opinion, are among the most interesting of pterosaurs,” study co-author Darren Naish, also of Southampton University, said in a statement.

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