Piecing together incredible Isle of Wight dinosaur discovery

By James Woolven

Published on Saturday, January 21, 2017 - 10:00


Piecing together incredible Isle of Wight dinosaur discovery

Preparator Gary Blackwell working on the 125-million-year-old skeleton at the Dinosaur Isle museum.

Fossilised dinosaur remains are being prepared and examined by experts at Dinosaur Isle.

The near-complete skeleton of mantellisaurus, a five- metre-long herbivore from the lower cretaceous period around 125 million years ago, went to the Sandown museum in 2014.

Staff and volunteers, led by museum preparator Gary Blackwell, have been preparing the specimen for the last two years, carefully removing the rock encasing the bones.

This week, the skeleton was laid out for the first time to assess its potential for exhibition and to determine its conservation needs.

Dinosaur Isle curator and general manager, Dr Martin Munt, said he hoped the dinosaur would be on display at the museum this time next year.

The creature was found in Compton Bay in 2013 by Nick Chase, a Freshwater man with more than 30 years’ experience of collecting dinosaur fossils.

Dr Munt said: "This is the most complete larger sized dinosaur to be found in the UK for many, many years.

"It is a spectacularly rare discovery.

"A find like this allows us to learn more about this type of dinosaur and means we can put other, partial finds into perspective."

Reporter: jamesw@iwcpmail.co.uk


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