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Self catering holiday caravans on the Isle of Wight    01983 292859 
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Dinosaurs of the Isle of Wight

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The Isle of Wight is one of the richest dinosaur localities in Europe, with over 20 species of dinosaur having been recognised from the early Cretaceous Period (in particular between 132 and 110 million years ago), some of which were first identified on the island, as well as the contemporary non-dinosaurian species of crocodile, turtle and pterosaur.

Geological strata
The Isle of Wight has layers of the Vectis and Wealden fossil bearing beds exposed on the southern half of the island. These are revealed in the cliffs of Yaverland, close to Sandown, and Hanover Point and Whale Chine, along the southwestern coast.

The Cretaceous habitat
The Island's dinosaurs come from the Wessex formation, which dates from between 125 and 110 million years go. During this time the Isle of Wight, then located on a latitude at which North Africa resides today, had a subtropical environment, and was part of a large river valley complex, which ran along the south coast of England to Belgium. A world of ponds, rivers and swamps, and so had conditions favourable for the formation of fossils.

Animal remains from this time include crocodiles, turtles, pterosaurs, mammals and possibly some birds. In the water were snails, fish and mussels.

As this environment did not change much over the course of 10 million years, a large number of fossils were formed, and so the island today is a very rich habitat.

List of dinosaur species
Unless otherwise specified, the follow is a list of dinosaurs for which almost complete skeletons have been found on the island. There are also many more species known only from a single or very few bones.

Order Ornithischia
Suborder Ornithopoda ("bird-footed", bipedal herbivores)
Iguanodon bernissartensis: Vertebrae of the two Iguanadon species are particularly common.
Iguanodon atherfieldensis
Valdosaurus canaliculatus
Hypsilophodon foxi: Named after Reverend Fox, a fossil collector of the Isle of Wight who found several skeletons.
Suborder Thyreophora ("shield-bearers", armored herbivorous dinosaurs)
Polacanthus foxi: Also named after the Reverend Fox. Notable as no head to the specimen has ever been found, and reconstructions are based upon suppositions from similar anklosaurids.

Order Saurischia
Suborder Sauropodomorpha ("sauropod-like", giant long-necked herbivores)
The 'Barnes High' sauropod: A member of the Brachiosauridae family, most likely Eucamerotus or Pelorosaurus. This is the most complete specimen from the Wealden era.
Suborder Theropoda ("beast foot", bipedal carnivores)
Baryonyx walkeri: Teeth are common on the Island. Hand bones have also been found.
Eotyrannus lengi: possibly the oldest member of the tyrannosaurid family. First identified in 1997 and named in 2001 from a single specimen found on the island.
Neovenator salerii: The holotype skeleton was found on the island.


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Sunnycott Caravan Park · Rew Street · Gurnard · Cowes · Isle Of Wight · PO31 8NN
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