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Scientists discover Welsh ‘dragon’ dinosaur – the size of a chicken

dinosaur

Scientists discover Welsh ‘dragon’ dinosaur – the size of a chicken

A dinosaur distantly related to Tyrannosaurus rex – but with a body the size of a chicken – that would probably have ruled the roost about 200m years ago has been discovered.

The diminutive but fearsome creature, whose fossilised remains were found in a quarry in south Wales, is the oldest theropod – a group that includes T rex and modern birds – found in the UK.

It has been named Pendraig milnerae – pendraig meaning “chief dragon” in middle Welsh and milnerae in honour of the late Angela Milner, a stalwart of the Natural History Museum’s dinosaur gallery and a researcher and deputy keeper of palaeontology at the museum for more than 30 years.

Fragmentary fossils of Pendraig milnerae were discovered in a quarry in south Wales in the 1950s but in recent years had been stashed away in a drawer with some crocodile samples until they were found by Milner.

It is thought the dinosaur lived between 200m and 215m years ago during the Late Triassic period. It probably had a body size similar to that of a modern-day chicken, but with its tail taking it to about a metre-long.

Stephan Spiekman, a research fellow at the Natural History Museum, said: “Pendraig milnerae lived near the beginning of the evolution of the meat-eating dinosaurs. It’s clear from the bones we have that it was a meat-eater, but early in the evolution of this group these animals were quite small, in contrast to the very famous meat-eating dinosaurs like T rex which evolved much later.”

Spiekman and his colleagues gave it the name dragon chief to honour its probable position as the apex predator. The reference to Milner, who died in August, was apt as she played a vital role in relocating the specimen, as well as contributing significantly to the understanding of theropod dinosaurs.

The discovery of this new species could also provide evidence for potential island dwarfism. Spiekman said: “The area where these specimens were found was most likely an island during the time period in which it lived. Species which live on islands often tend to become smaller than those on the mainland in a phenomenon called island dwarfism.”

He said that because Pendraig was not fully grown, it was not possible to reach conclusions on this. “We need more evidence from more species to investigate the potential for island dwarfism in this area during that time, but if we could prove it, it would be the earliest known occurrence of this evolutionary phenomenon.”

Richard Butler, co-author on a paper on the dinosaur and professor of palaeobiology at the University of Birmingham, said: “Dinosaur discoveries are really rare in Wales, and this is only the third dinosaur species known from the country. It’s very exciting to learn more about the dinosaurs that lived here in the UK during the Triassic, right at the dawn of dinosaur evolution.”

The remains were found in the 50s by the palaeontologists Pamela Robinson and Kenneth Kermack. They were studied, but the creature was not named.

Susannah Maidment, a senior researcher in paleobiology at the Natural History Museum, was trying to track the specimen down and turned to Milner for help. “She went away and about three hours later she had it. She found it in a drawer with crocodile material.”

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I Will Soon Start Signing Death Warrants- Bala Mohammed

Bauchi state governor, Bala Mohammed has disclosed that he will soon start to sign death warrants.

Mohammed made this known on Friday in Bauchi while signing the Violence against Persons Prohibition (VAPP) bill and a bill for the establishment of the Bauchi state penal code, into law.

In Nigeria, state governors are legally backed to sign the death warrants.

Since 2012, no governor has been reported to have signed death warrants.

“We will soon be signing some death sentences because there are many and because of justice which has to be taken to a logical conclusion

“I know some governors are running away from signing the death sentences because they exercise restraints on the basis that there may be some element of error.

“But to me, I will leave it to my lord (the chief judge) who will prosecute. It’s not my fault. If it is brought to my attention, I will do it.”

“As for the Violence against Persons Prohibition Act, we know that we are the first in the northern part of the country to enact the law, which is a member’s bill incidentally from the honourable speaker, and it has earned us a lot of respect in the country.

“But because of some noticed gaps, it was taken back and it was corrected. We thank the house for making the corrections.”

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Court Sacks 13 Ebonyi LG Bosses, 171 Councilors

A Federal High Court sitting in Abakaliki has again nullified the Ebonyi Local Government Elections and sacked all the 13 Council chairmen in the state.

The court also sacked all the councilors and 171 ward chairmen of the state.

The court had on Aug. 25, nullified the council polls of May 31.

Ruling on the matter with suit NO: FHC/AI/CS/224/2022 on Friday, Justice Fatun Riman ordered the seizure of the monthly federal allocation of the chairmen pending when rightful Chief Executives were elected into office.

Fatun restated that the councils election by the State Independent Electoral Commission (EBSIEC) on May 31 was illegal and unconstitutional.

Mr Mudi Erenede, Counsel to the plaintiff said he was happy over the judgment and commended the court.

“In the judgement today, the court has agreed that the Ebonyi State High court has no powers to override or set aside the judgment of the Federal High Court because it is not an Appeal Court.

“Those people, who are parading themselves as chairmen are not there legally.

“They were appointed by whoever that appointed them. CBN, Attorney General of the Federation, Federal Ministry of Finance are all defendants in this suits,” he stated.

The counsel to Ebonyi State Government, Mr Roy Nweze, said there was no need responding to a judgment that had already been delivered by the court.

Nweze said that the matter would be appealed without delay.

(NAN)

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Naval College Graduates 245 Officers, Personnel

The newly graduated personnel of the Officers’ Application Course 20 of the Nigerian Naval Engineering College (NNEC), Sapele in Delta, have been urged to remain committed to the service of the nation.

Rear Adm. Monday Unurhiere, the Flag Officer Commanding (FOC), Naval Training Command, made the plea at the graduation ceremony of the 245 Under Training Personnel of the Officers’ Application Course 20 in Sapele.

Unurhiere, represented by Rear Adm. Baratuaipri Iyalla, said that the call became necessary in view of the security, economic and social challenges currently facing the country.

The naval chief urged the graduands to make deliberate efforts to improve themselves on the job by way of taking advantage of modern technology and also tapping into the wealth of experience of their superiors.

“Let me remind you that as officers of the Nigerian Navy, you are charged with enormous responsibility and your unswerving allegiance is to the Nation.

“The confidence reposed in you must not be taking for granted, especially at this time that our national aspirations are being threatened by numerous security, economic and social challenges.

“As such, you may find yourself being called upon to serve beyond your technical capability due to the prevailing situation in the country,” he said.

Unurhiere acknowledged the efforts of the Chief of Naval Staff (CNS), Vice Adm. Awwal Gambo, for creating the enabling environment for training and continued financial support to NNEC.

According to him, this has helped the College to contribute more to the technological advancement of Nigerian Navy and the nation at large.

He urged the graduands, especially the under training personnel, to maintain the current tempo in sustaining training and other naval activities.

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