Dinosaur Isle - Discover Experience Encounter
Isle of Wight dinosaurs. Picture courtesy of the artist John Sibbick. www.johnsibbick.com


The Isle of Wight is internationally famous for its dinosaur remains. Fossils and dinosaur trackways have been found here for a considerable period of time; although it is only since early Victorian scientists and amateur collectors started to analyze and discuss them that it was truly known what they were.

Many different types of dinosaurs have been identified already, and more mysterious remains are yet to be determined. Over 120 million years ago the environment on the Isle of Wight was just right to support a rich biodiversity, from the smallest bacteria and insects, living in ferns, cycads and large conifers, to the giant dinosaurs and soaring pterosaurs. At the top of the food-chain were the large meat-eating dinosaurs like Neovenator and Baryonyx.

Temporary Notice - our dinosaur webpages are being rewritten
The Dinosaur section of our website is currently undergoing considerable change, which will continue over the next few months; please bear with us while these alterations take place. We aim to provide a lot more information than was previously published on the website, and to make the information available at a range of levels to suit many interests. This may take a while but we hope that you will like the results as they appear.

You may notice that on some of our pages we have abbreviated the names so that for example Iguanodon bernissartensis becomes I. bernissartensis, and as scientific names they should also be written in italics.

One of the goals of rewriting the webpages has been the intention to make them readable. In scientific literature it is normal practice to refer to research papers which support an arguement by inserting references to author's names and dates of publication throughout the text. While this is extremely useful for researchers it makes the text difficult to follow for the lay reader when there are a lot of references. For this reason the individual pages do not have these references but more information can be obtained if required from the research papers which are also quoted seperately.

The pages for Eotyrannus, Iguanodon and Neovenator have been replaced. The page for Hypsilophodon is currently being rewritten by Cameron Henderson, from the University of Portsmouth as part of his research.  All dinosaur pages will be further enhanced at a later date by linking them to further research websites, and by updating them with new information as it becomes available.

Dinosaur evolution

Dinosaurs are divided into two major groups: the Ornithischia (‘bird-hipped’) and the Saurischia (‘lizard-hipped’), because of the arrangement of their hip bones.

Despite their name, the Ornithischia are not closely related to birds, but it is thought that birds evolved from a saurischian ancestor! The Ornithischia contains a number of groups: the Ornithopoda (‘bird-footed’) the Marginocephalia (‘margin headed’) and the Thyreophora (‘shield-bearers’), which were all herbivorous.

The Saurischia contains the carnivorous Theropoda (‘beast-footed’) and the herbivorous Sauropodomorpha.

All of these groups are represented on the Isle of Wight.

There are around 15 species of dinosaur currently recognised from the Isle of Wight. Here are some facts about the best-known of them.

Ornithischian (‘Bird-hipped’) dinosaurs
Ornithopoda (‘bird-footed’)
Thyreophora (“shield-bearers”)

Saurischia ('lizard-hipped') dinosaurs
Sauropodomorpha ('sauropod-like')
Theropoda (“beast foot”)

Dinosaur Isle blinking eye Dinosaurs Homepage Iguanodon Neovenator salerii Eotyrannus lengi Hypsilophodon foxi Valdosaurus Sauropodomorpha Polacanthus Baryonyx

Millenium Commission

Accredited Museum

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Isle of Wight Council

Dinosaur Isle,
Culver Parade,
Isle of Wight
PO36 8QA

Tel: +44 (0)1983 404344
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