Name: Vectidraco ‭(‬Isle of Wight dragon‭).
Phonetic: Vec-te-dra-coe.
Named By: Darren Naish,‭ ‬Martin Simpson‭ & ‬Gareth Dyke‭ ‬-‭ ‬2013.
Classification: Chordata,‭ ‬Reptilia,‭ ‬Pterosauria,‭ ‬Pterodactyloidea,‭ ‬Azdarchoidea.
Species: V.‭ ‬daisymorrisae‭ (‬type‭)‬.
Diet: Uncertain due to lack of remains but probably a carnivore/piscivore.
Size: Uncertain due to lack of remains but comparison to similar pterosaurs yields rough estimates of around thirty-five centimetres body length and seventy-five centimetres for wingspan.
Known locations: England,‭ ‬Isle of Wight‭ ‬-‭ ‬Atherfield Formation,‭ ‬Chale Clay Member.
Time period: Aptian of the Cretaceous.
Fossil representation: Partial post cranial remains of the left pelvis,‭ ‬right ischium,‭ ‬three sacral vertebrae and one dorsal vertebra.‭

       Although named from only relatively few bones,‭ ‬the fossil remains of Vectidraco are still enough to clearly identify‭ ‬it‭ ‬as a new distinct genus from other known‭ ‬pterosaur‭ ‬genera.‭ ‬The fossils of Vectidraco also show that in life the bones were pneumatised,‭ ‬a weight saving adaptation which meant that the bones of the living animal were very light making flight much‭ ‬easier.‭ ‬One of the key things about Vectidraco is its small size,‭ ‬which for an azdarchoid pterosaur is actually very small.‭ ‬A seventy-five centimetre wingspan might sound large,‭ ‬but when you compare Vectidraco to giants like Quetzalcoatlus and Hatzegopteryx you can appreciate just how small this pterosaur was.‭ ‬It is still uncertain if the remains represent an adult or a sub adult with a little bit of growth left to go,‭ ‬but nonetheless the discovery of Vectidraco indicates that azdarchoids may have been‭ ‬much more adaptable to environments than previous discoveries have indicated.
       Vectidraco is named from a combination of the old Roman name for the Isle of Wight and the Latin word for dragon,‭ ‬a word that is increasingly becoming used in the naming of pterosaur genera.‭ ‬The species name V.‭ ‬daisymorrisae has been named in honour of Daisy Morris who first discovered the fossil remains of Vectidraco in‭ ‬2008‭ ‬when she was just four years old.‭ ‬The story of the discovery has now also been written as a children’s story called Daisy and the Isle of Wight Dragon.

‭*‬Special note‭ ‬-‭ ‬Many news articles reporting upon the story have erroneously lead the story with‭ ‘‬flying dinosaur‭’‬,‭ ‬but it must be remembered that Vectidraco is actually a pterosaur.‭ ‬While pterosaurs are reptiles,‭ ‬they are otherwise unrelated to dinosaurs.

Further reading
-‭ ‬A New Small-Bodied Azhdarchoid Pterosaur from the Lower Cretaceous of England and Its Implications for Pterosaur Anatomy,‭ ‬Diversity and Phylogeny,‭ ‬Darren Naish,‭ ‬Martin Simpson‭ & ‬Gareth Dyke‭ ‬-‭ ‬2013.


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