UK & World News

  • 2 July 2014, 1:07

Cousins Of Tyrannosaurus Rex 'Roamed Britain'

Britain was home to some 100 species of dinosaur, including three cousins of the fearsome carnivore Tyrannosaurus rex, according to the author of a new book.

Dr Dean Lomax, who is a palaeontologist and Visiting Scientist at The University of Manchester, claims T-rex's UK cousins were likely smaller and more agile.

"The three British tyrannosaurs would have resembled their infamous cousin, T-rex, but were smaller - between three and five metres in length - possessed longer forelimbs, were more agile and, geologically speaking, a lot older," he said.

"Growing up in Yorkshire, I had always wanted to learn about the dinosaurs discovered here, yet all the books I read, or programmes watched on TV, made only passing comments to some of the remains discovered in the British Isles."

Britain's dinosaurs - which mostly came from Scotland, Wales, Oxfordshire and the Isle of Wight - have been overlooked by popular culture, according to Dr Lomax, who works on dinosaur research projects across the world.

They included stegosaurs, ankylosaurs, ornithopods and gigantic sauropods, one of which may be the largest dinosaur found in Europe.

The sauropods are believed to have grown up to 34 metres in length and possessed exceptionally long tails which they may have used to crack like a whip to deter predators.

Most UK dinosaur remains have been recovered from rocks dating to the Middle Jurassic period (some 170 million years ago) and the Cretaceous period (between 145 and 65 million years ago).

Dinosaurs Of The British Isles is published by Siri Scientific Press.

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