Girl Discovers Dinosaur Fossils: New Species Vectidraco Daisymorrisae Named After 5-Year-Old Daisy Morris [PHOTOS] [VIDEO]

By Staff Reporter on March 22, 2013 11:18 AM EDT

In 2008, a little girl discovered dinosaur fossils during a family walk along the Atherfield Beach on the southern coast of the Isle of Wight. A remarkable event for young Daisy Morris, she was just 5 years old when she unearthed the newly discovered dinosaur species.

According to reports, Daisy was enjoying a family walk along the beach in England's Isle of Wight, also known as the "dinosaur capital of Great Britain," when she identified fossils specimens in the mud.

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"She has a very good eye for tiny little fossils," her mother Sian Morris told BBC.

Daisy apparently first began fossil hunting at age 3.

"She found these tiny little black bones sticking out of the mud and decided to dig a bit further and scoop them all out," her mother said.

Daisy Morris (Photo: PA handout)
Daisy Morris (Photo: PA handout)

The family brought the mysterious specimens to the attention of fossil expert Martin Simpson of Southampton University.

"When Daisy and her family brought the fossilized remains to me in April 2009, I knew I was looking at something very special," said Simpson.

After several years of thorough analysis by paleontologists Darren Naish and Gareth Dyke, the findings on the fossils were finally published on Monday. Daisy Morris is now 9 years old.

The specimen is a previously unknown genus and species of a small flying reptile called the pterosaur. Experts officially named the specimen Vectidraco Daisymorrisae after Daisy. About the size of a crow, the pterosaur fossil was dated back to the Lower Cretaceous period, or approximately 115 million years ago.

"It's likely that if she had not picked this up, it would have washed away that day and might never have been found," said fossil expert Martin Simpson.

"It shows how amateurs and academics can work together and make some really important discoveries.

"She is a fascinating and unique girl.

"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."

The family has donated the fossils to the Natural History Museum.

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