Identified in Portsmouth: The world’s smallest dinosaur

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THE WORLD’S smallest dinosaur that is the size of a magpie has been identified by two scientists from the University of Portsmouth.

The tiny prehistoric specimen – nicknamed the Ashdown maniraptoran – was first identified by Dr Darren Naish and Dr Steve Sweetman and was found in one of the pits at Ashdown Brickworks, north-west of Bexhill in East Sussex.

The palaeontologists estimate that the Ashdown maniraptoran was between 33 and 40cm in total length, making it one of the smallest dinosaurs yet reported from the Mesozoic era, which began approximately 250 million years ago.

Dr Steve Sweetman said: ‘This is such an exciting find as it represents the smallest dinosaur we have yet discovered in the European fossil record.’