Five-Year-Old Girl Lives the Dream: Discovers a Dinosaur, Has It Named After Her
by Rebecca Pahle | 11:45 am, March 21st, 2013
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.
“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:
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.