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What's with the name?

Allow us to explain.

Clever Girl

Five-Year-Old Girl Lives the Dream: Discovers a Dinosaur, Has It Named After Her

Daisy Morris is just five years old, and already she’s discovered a brand new species of pterosaur, named Vertidraco daisymorrisae in her honor. Give this girl a Jurassic Park 4 cameo.

Speaking of Jurassic Park 4, we have a bite-sized morsel of news on that as well. Gotta put the dinosaur items together in one post; wouldn’t want them to attack the other stories.

Morris found the fossil in 2009 while fossil hunting on the Isle of Wight. Yes, that’s right, the five-year-old was fossil hunting. I would occasionally venture outside and play Thundercats when I was five. Clearly Daisy is awesomer than I was at her age, but I can’t be bitter about that. Just look at her. She’s adorable.

She and her family then took the fossil to the University of Southampton’s Martin Simpson, who determined that, yes, Daisy had indeed come across the coolest show and tell object ever.

Said Simpson:

“When Daisy and her family brought the fossilised remains to me in April 2009, I knew I was looking at something very special. And I was right.

“The fossil turned out to be a completely new genus and species of small pterosaur, a flying reptile from 115 million years ago in the Lower Cretaceous period, which because of the island’s eroding coastline, would without doubt have been washed away and destroyed if it had not been found by Daisy.

“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.”

V. daisymorrisae was about the size of a crow and, being a pterosaur, it flies. That puts me in mind of Dr. Grant’s theory that dinosaurs evolved into birds, and that’s enough of a Jurassic Park segue for me. So, Jurassic Park 4 news: Director Colin Trevorrow has flown in the face of recent paleontological discovery by tweeting that the dinos in JP4 will have:

“No feathers.”

Gotta say, it’s not scientifically accurate, but I’m with Trevorrow on this one. Dinosaurs sprouting feathers between Jurassic Park 3 and 4 would just be weird. And I will forever cling to the notion of a Velociraptor that didn’t look like a giant turkey.

(via: Skepchick, /Film)

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  • Eva Marie Heater

    I think Daisy and I are blood sisters. I grew up near a place called “Trilobite Ridge” by locals, and for a very good reason. I’ve been a fossil hound ever since I can remember. But I never did this! I just found a LOT of trilobites…

  • Anonymous

    Still, that is pretty cool…!

  • Clint Gilbert


  • Elizabeth Amber

    On Psych they named their dinosaur Zippy! Daisy is a great name too!

  • Anonymous

    Ooh, I hate this little girl! Hate hate hate her! Pfft, just because she *discovered* a new pterosaur, stupid girl with her stupid face… No I’m not jealous! (In all seriousness, that’s every child’s dream.)

    That said:

    “And I will forever cling to the notion of a Velociraptor that didn’t look like a giant turkey.”

    What kind of hell-turkeys do you hang around? Regarding that link: lol science “journalism.”

  • Dina Saruyama

    Pterosaurs are not dinosaurs.

  • John Conway

    People usually bring up funny-looking birds when they are complaining about feathered dinosaurs. How about describing Velociraptor as a ‘giant ground-eagle’? Doesn’t sound so pathetic now, huh?

  • Laura Brown

    She’s not five years old now; she was 5 when she found the dinosaur in 2009.

  • Mina

    I think of moas, and that sounds absolutely terrifying. I am so glad those things are extinct. Heck, I’m afraid of ostriches. Or really any bird goose-sized or larger.

  • Alex

    Contrary to popular belief, pterosaurs are not technically dinosaurs, nor are they ancestors to birds. Rather, they evolved flight much earlier and completely separately from the lineage that eventually led to birds. And what a badass little girl for discovering this

  • Elayne Riggs
  • Manly Bowler

    You avatar makes your comment so much better. *bows*

  • 00000

    Don’t fear the moa. Fear the Phorusrhacos.

  • Bruce Townley

    Terror Birds!