It's official, the Isle of Wight is now Dinosaur Island!
Dinosaurs are now synonymous with the Isle of Wight which is renowned as one of the richest sites for prehistoric remains in Europe. You could find an undiscovered species of dinosaurs just walking along the Isle of Wight's beautiful coastline and infact many people do just that! Most recently Daisy Morris, a nine-year old girl from the Isle of Wight, had a dinosaur named after her that she found on Atherfield beach on the west coast of the Island. The prehistoric beast, which is an undiscovered species of pterosaur, will be called Vectidraco daisymorrisae.
The Natural History Museum has declared the Isle of Wight has the dinosaur capital of Britain, beating the Jurassic Coast in Dorset as the richest area for dinosaur fossil finds. The Isle of Wight was home to the continent's deadliest predator over 125 million years ago. This declaration at the dinosaur Capital of Britain confirms the Isle of Wight's international reputation as a must-see spot for keen fossil collectors. Often referred to as 'Dinosaur Island', the environment on this south coast Island supported a rich diversity of life from the large meat-eating dunosaurs like Baryonyx and Neovenator to the tiniest bacteria and insects. The 11 mile stretch of coastline between Compton Bay and Sandown, known as the Wealdon Outcrop is one of the best sources of dinosaur fossils and bones.
Best Isle of Wight fossil beaches
Here are some of the best beaches around Dinosaur Island to find fossils on the Isle of Wight:
Brighstone Bay - A good place for dinosaur and reptile remains, the famous Sauropod skeleton was found here.
Brook Bay - The shingle at Brook is a great palce to find dinosaur fossils. Larger bones have been uncovered in the cliffs.
Gurnard Bay - The base of the cliff at Gurnard Bay is a great place to find fossilised insects as well as turtle and crocodile remains.
Thorness Bay - Over 200 species have been found in the bay.
Yaverland - Our very own beach at Yaverland, Sandown, contains a huge range of preserved fossils. Plants and seeds can be found along the shore as well as mammal, crocodile and fish remains.
There will be more information about how the Isle of Wight will be part of the build up to the launch of Walking with Dinosaurs 3D in July when it will also be part of Visit Isle of Wight's Adventure Island summer advertising campaign encouraging visitors to come and find adventure for themselves on Dinosaur Island!
A must-visit attraction for dinosaur lovers is Dinosaur Isle, the Isle of Wight's very own dinosaur museum and education centre in Sandown which offers some great guided fossil walks throughout the year. Visit the Dinosaur Isle website for further details and a full timetable.
All new national television advert
The Dinosaur Island initiative is now being supported by a national prime-time television advert. Created by Visit IW and international media producers Fox, the advert will be screened throughout the ITV West and Meridian areas throughout the summer season. View the advert below: