Vectaerovenator, a tetanuran theropod from the Isle of Wight

Vectaerovenator,

a tetanuran theropod from the Isle of Wight

Vectaerovenator inopinatus silhouette by Darren Naish

Meaning

Wight airy hunter

Length

4 metres

Classification

Theropoda
Tetanurae, Gaulthier 1986

Vectaerovenator inopinatus Barker et al, 2020

Locations

These vertebrae were discovered on the foreshore at Knock Cliff, near Shanklin.

This puts them at a much later period than the rest of the Isle of Wight’s dinosaurs, in the Lower Greensands, during the Aptian period, 115 million years ago.

A small theropod, Vectaerovenator probably hunted smaller animals. Not much is known about dinosaurs in this area during the mid Cretaceous.

Tetanuran theropod diagnosed by: conspicuous lateral furrow between the lateral margin of the postzygapophysis and prezygoepipophyseal lamina in cervical vertebrae; convex spinoprezygapophyseal laminae in anterior cervical vertebra; curved lamina bisecting the postzygocentrodiapophyseal fossa; external extension of the air sac ventral to the parapophysis of anterior dorsal vertebra; complex partitioning of the anteriormost dorsal pneumatic foramen into several internal pneumatic features; anterior articular facet of anterior dorsal vertebrae wider than centrum such that vertebra is T‐shaped in dorsal or ventral view; shallow fossae lateral to the base of the postzygapophyses in mid caudal vertebrae.

Chris Barker et al. 2020. A highly pneumatic middle Cretaceous theropod from the British Lower Greensand. Pap Palaeontol. doi:10.1002/spp2.1338 [Open Access]