A NEW species of dinosaur has been discovered on a beach near Penarth.

The 200 million-year-old skeleton from the early Jurassic period was found on Lavernock beach after spring storms struck the area in 2014.

And it is believed that the fossil is that of a theropod which is a very early distant relative of the infamous tyrannosaurs rex having lived 140 million years before.

The initial find was made in March of last year by Rob and Nick Hanigan from Llantwit Major who donated it to National Museum Wales

After a cliff fall on the beach, they spotted several loose blocks containing part of the skeleton of a small dinosaur and collected the specimen, including its razor sharp teeth, and claws.

They contacted Cindy Howells, palaeontology curator for Museum Wales, and she analysed the findings along with a small team.

She said: "At first we didn't know what we had. We had to be certain and get our facts straight.

"We also wanted to announce it at the same time as the display opening so that people could go and see it straight away when it was official."

The dinosaur is described as standing at about knee height and being slender with small sharp teeth. It stood on two legs so it could use it's arms to grab things.

It lived during the very early stages of dinosaur diversification and around 30-40 percent of the bones are intact with the pelvis, leg bone, arm, hand, claws and half a skull present.

Other dinosaurs have been discovered in Wales but this is the first discovery of a theropod in the region.

Cindy Howells said: "I couldn't believe it when we found out what it was. It seemed to be good to be true. This is what dreams are made of and is the holy grail of dinosaur discovery."

One of the brothers who found the fossils, Nick Hanigan, said: “This is a once-in-a-lifetime find - preparing the skull and to seeing the teeth of a theropod for the first time in 200 million years was absolutely fantastic – you just can’t beat that sort of thing."

His brother Rob added: “It has always been our intention to donate our dinosaur to the museum for the public and scientists to see and research.”

The fossils in three blocks of rock will be on display at the main hall of the National Museum in Cardiff from June 9 until September 6 where entry is free. The full scientific name is yet to be announced but there is a campaign to give it a nickname. You can tweet your ideas using #WelshDino or email welshdino@museumwales.ac.uk