- (Photo: Reuters/file)
A girl who discovered a dinosaur species previously unknown to scientists has been rewarded for the amazing find by having the new dinosaur species named after her.
The dinosaur remains were found four years ago by then-five year old Daisy Morris on the beaches of the Isle of Wight. After four years of research by paleontologists, they have now finally announced that the remains are of a new species of flying dinosaur.
Morris, now aged 9, is a fossil enthusiast, and has collected a huge range of fossils and animal remains, according to a Daily Mail report. One expert has described her bedroom as "resembling a natural history museum."
The young girl originally found the fossils in 2008 when she was taking a walk with her family on Atherfield Beach on the south coast of the Isle of Wight, which is close to their family home in Whitwell.
Morris is said to have immediately recognized that she had found a fossil, and the family later took her find to a dinosaur expert, Martin Simpson.
Experts Darren Naish and Gareth Dyke have spent the years since then analyzing the fossil remains, and finally published their findings this week, revealing the new species of flying dinosaur.
They estimate that the dinosaur would have been about the size of a crow, and was a type of pterosaur. The fossils will be stored at the Natural History Museum for public display.
Morris has said, "When I told my friends about it they said it was cool."
Her mother, Sian, described, "She is fascinated by it. If we are in the car and we go past an animal that has died, she'll ask me to stop so we can pick it up and she can take it home," according to the BBC.
"She'll put them under a crate in the garden and let it decompose. The flies lay eggs and maggots clean the skeleton, then she collects the bones. If your child is good at drawing or dancing and they enjoy it, then you encourage them and this is what Daisy enjoys, so her Dad and I have never said eurgh, we've tried to encourage her. Rather than say that's disgusting, we'd like to help her find out about things. She's fascinated and we're very proud of her."
The new dinosaur species that the young girl found has now officially been named the Vectidraco Daisymorrisae.