Morris stumbled upon a 115 million-year-old fossil from the lower cretaceous period while on a family walk at Atherfield Beach on the Isle of Wright in the U.K., MSN reported Thursday.
The fossil, which was found to be from a prehistoric flying reptile, has now been named Vectidraco daisymorrisae. The name pays allegiance to the location where it was discovered -- with Vectidraco meaning “dragon from the Isle of Wright” -- as well as its founder.
“When I told my friends about it they said it was cool,” the Niton Primary School student told the Isle of Wright County Press.
Dinosaur expert Martin Simpson of the University of Southampton was the one to confirm the fossil was of a new species, saying he immediately knew that Morris had discovered something revolutionary.
“I knew I was looking at something very special. And I was right,” said Simpson, adding that the animal’s coastal resting place could have easily concealed or washed away the remains.
“It just shows that continuing a long tradition in palaeontology, major discoveries can be made by amateurs, often by being in the right place at the right time,” he said.
Morris, a bona fide dinosaur lover, has a shrine dedicated to the extinct creatures in the bedroom of her Whitwell family home.
“She has an amazing collection of real and fossilized bones, shells, skulls and teeth, and her bedroom now resembles a natural history museum,” Simpson continued.
The dinosaur remains were recently donated to London's Natural History Museum.