In perhaps the most heartwarming story to ever involve a tiny fossilized pelvis, paleontologists have named a new species of flying dinosaur after the five-year-old cherub of a girl who discovered it. Daisy Morris, now nine, unearthed the fossil in 2008 while walking with her family on the Isle of Wight. She took the specimen to dinosaur expert Martin Simpson, who passed it onto two more dinosaur experts. The team studied the fossil for five years because, you know, it's necessary to really savor each moment of a scientific pelvis-gazing, and just announced last week that it does indeed belong to a previously unknown species of crow-sized pterosaurs. In tribute to its finder, they have dubbed it Vectidraco Daisymorrisae, or, in more common parlance, the daisymorrisaurus (ok, that's not actually how dinosaur names work, but a girl can dream!).
"It just shows that, continuing a long tradition in palaeontology, major discoveries can be made by amateurs, often by being in the right place at the right time," said Dinosaur Expert Martin Simpson, sounding more than a little jealous.
Daisy, who is insanely precocious, has been obsessed with the study of animals and dinosaurs for years. For fun, she likes to leave dead animal bodies under a crate in her garden, let them decompose, and then collect the bones. As a result, she's amassed a sizable collection of fossils, skulls, and skeletons that she keeps in her bedroom. On top of the support of the international community of dinosaur experts, she also enjoys the support of her peers: "When I told my friends about it they said it was cool."
The Daisy-saurus: Scientists name new flying dinosaur after five-year-old girl who found fossil on an Isle of Wight beach [DailyMail]
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