More than 500 new species, including colorful beetles and a 'hell heron,' discovered in 2021

This image depicts beautiful metallic beetles, with the male (left) and female (right) side by side, discovered in India.

(CNN)Shrimplike creatures, an extinct dinosaur called the "hell heron" and colorful beetles are among the 552 new species described this year by scientists at the Natural History Museum in London.

The researchers were largely restricted from traveling to international field sites or visiting other museum collections due to the pandemic, but they persevered to reveal a wealth of species new to science, both living and extinct. The museum, which holds 80 million specimens in its collections, has a staff of 300 scientists.
Dinosaur discoveries included giant carnivorous predators called spinosaurs, armed with crocodile-like skulls that helped them hunt down prey in the water as well as on land on the Isle of Wight 125 million years ago.
    Two new species of spinosaurid dinosaurs were discovered from fossils found on the Isle of Wight: one named "hell heron" and the other the "riverbank hunter."
    The first of the two spinosaurids was named Ceratosuchops inferodios, which means "horned crocodile-faced hell heron." In life, the dinosaur sported horns and bumps across its brow region. The spinosaurid also likely hunted in a way similar to herons, which can catch prey in the water as well as on land.
      The second spinosaurid is Riparovenator milnerae, or "Milner's riverbank hunter." Both predators likely reached about 29.5 feet (9 meters) in length and had skulls measuring 3.2 feet (1 meter) long. Spinosaurid fossils have been uncovered around the world, but they may have evolved in Europe before migrating to other areas.
      A decades-old fossil from the Isle of Wight, often called the United Kingdom's dinosaur capital, also led to the discovery of Brighstoneus simmondsi, an iguanodontian with an unusual snout.
      Fossils finds elsewhere revealed the earliest ankylosaur from Africa, a Chinese sauropod and the oldest carnivorous dinosaur to be found in the UK.
        This illustration shows Pendraig milnerae, the earliest carnivorous dinosaur from the UK.