Prehistoric reptile named for 9-year-old

March 21, 2013 at 5:29 PM
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SOUTHAMPTON, England, March 21 (UPI) -- A prehistoric flying reptile has been named for the 9-year-old British girl who found fossilized bones of the creature on the Isle of Wight, scientists said.

After the bones found by Daisy Morris were determined to be from a previously undiscovered species of pterosaur, a scientific paper was published in which the creature was dubbed Vectidraco daisymorrisae, the BBC reported Thursday.

Daisy started fossil hunting at age 3, her mother Sian Morris said, and found the bones "sticking out of the sand" on the beach in 2009 when she was 4 years old.

The family took the bones to expert Martin Simpson at the University of Southampton.

"I knew I was looking at something very special," Simpson said. "And I was right."

The finding was an example of how "major discoveries can be made by amateurs," he said.

Her mother said Daisy has shown a knack for fossil hunting.

"She has a very good eye for tiny little fossils and found these tiny little black bones sticking out of the mud and decided to dig a bit further and scoop them all out," she said of her daughter's discovery.

"We are all very proud of her."

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