Dinosaur Isle

Dinosaur Isle is a purpose-built dinosaur museum located in Sandown on the Isle of Wight in southern England.[1]

The museum was designed by Isle of Wight architects Rainey Petrie Johns in the shape of a giant pterosaur.[2] It claims to be the first custom-built dinosaur museum in Europe.

Dinosaur Isle
Dinosaur Isle logo
Dinosaur Isle
The outside of Dinosaur Isle.
LocationSandown, Isle of Wight
Visitors60 000
DirectorMartin Munt
CuratorSteve Hutt


Throughout the 19th century, many collectors such as the Reverend William Fox (1813-1881) exhumed the types of new species: Aristosuchus, Hypsilophodon foxii, Polacanthus... Most of the discoveries then left the island's territory, which is why, the Isle of Wight Council began its own collection.

In 1914 the Isle of Wight's first geological museum opened in Sandown.[3]

The £2.7 million cost of Dinosaur Isle, the new museum, was provided by Isle of Wight Council and the National Lottery Millennium Commission.[4] Dinosaur Isle opened to visitors on 20 August 2001. It currently houses 40,000 specimens, including nearly 200 types. The museum offers many field trips to discover the island's main palaeontological sites.


The visit to the museum begins with a presentation of the different past ecosystems that can be found in different parts of the island.

The large central room is dedicated to dinosaurs. Many life-size replicas and models are found there, including Ornitischians: Iguanodon, Polacanthus and Hypsilophodon as well as saurischians like Eotyrannus, or Neovenator - Neovenator salerii was discovered in 1978 and described by Steve Hutt[5] one of the curators of the museum.

The skeleton of the Iguanodon Pink Iggy is particularly interesting. It was discovered in 1976 by Steve Hutt in an almost anatomical position.

On one of the walls of the room, reconstructions of heads of different pterosaurs are displayed. Indeed, the museum houses the holotype of Caulkicephalus[6]

The first discovery of dinosaurs-Dinosaurisle

First discoveries of Dinosaurs in England

Dinosaur Hall-Dinosaurisle

Dinosaur Hall

Hypsilophodon foxii cast

[Hypsilophodon foxii life size model on display

Guests are given the opportunity to speak to experts and watch them at work.

Iguanodon-Pink Iggy-MIWG5126

Pink Iggy, Iguanodon skeleton

Polacanthus foxi-Dinosaurisle

Polacanthus foxi life size model on display

Neovenator salerii-Dinosaurisle

Neovenator Salerii discovered in 1978 in the isle of Wight

Dinosaur hall-DinosaurIsle1

Dinosaur Hall

See also


  1. ^ "Things to do in South East England - Dinosaur Isle". www.visitsoutheastengland.com. Retrieved 15 December 2008.
  2. ^ "Enjoy England - Dinosaur Isle". www.enjoyengland.com. Retrieved 15 December 2008.
  3. ^ Munt (2008). A history of geological conservation on the Isle of Wight. Geological Society, London, Special Publications. p. 173,179.
  4. ^ "Dinosaur Isle official website - About Us". www.dinosaurisle.com. Archived from the original on 12 October 2008. Retrieved 2008-12-15.
  5. ^ Hutt, S. Martill, D. M. & Barker, M. J. (1996). The first European allosaurid dinosaur (lower Cretaceous, Wealden Group, England). N. Jb. Geol. Paläont. Mb, 1996, 635-644.
  6. ^ Steel, L., Martill, D.M., Unwin, D.M. and Winch, J. D. (2005). A new pterodactyloid pterosaur from the Wessex Formation (Lower Cretaceous) of the Isle of Wight, England. Cretaceous Research, 26, 686-698.

External links

Coordinates: 50°39′33″N 1°08′34″W / 50.6592°N 1.1428°W


Actinocamax is a genus of belemnite, an extinct group of cephalopods.


Atherfield is a rural location in the south west of the Isle of Wight, UK. It includes the small settlements of Atherfield Green and Little Atherfield, as well as several farms, and is set in largely open farmland. To the south west it is bounded by the cliffs of Chale Bay and Brighstone Bay, which are divided by Atherfield Point. The south-eastern part of Brighstone Bay is also sometimes known as Atherfield Bay, and was the site of a former holiday camp, now demolished.


Calamosaurus (meaning "reed lizard") was a genus of small theropod dinosaur from the Barremian-age Lower Cretaceous Wessex Formation of the Isle of Wight, England. It is based on two cervical vertebrae (BMNH R901), collected by Reverend William Fox.

Dinosaurs of the Isle of Wight

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.

Compton Bay, near Freshwater features dinosaur footprints which are visible at low tide.

Isle of Wight

The Isle of Wight (; also referred to informally as The Island or abbreviated to IoW) is a county and the largest and second-most populous island in England. It is in the English Channel, between 2 and 5 miles off the coast of Hampshire, separated by the Solent. The island has resorts that have been holiday destinations since Victorian times, and is known for its mild climate, coastal scenery, and verdant landscape of fields, downland and chines. The island is designated a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve.

The island has been home to the poets Swinburne and Tennyson and to Queen Victoria, who built her much-loved summer residence and final home Osborne House at East Cowes. It has a maritime and industrial tradition including boat-building, sail-making, the manufacture of flying boats, the hovercraft, and Britain's space rockets. The island hosts annual music festivals including the Isle of Wight Festival, which in 1970 was the largest rock music event ever held. It has well-conserved wildlife and some of the richest cliffs and quarries for dinosaur fossils in Europe.

The isle was owned by a Norman family until 1293 and was earlier a kingdom in its own right. In common with the Crown dependencies, the British Crown was then represented on the island by the Governor of the Isle of Wight until 1995. The island has played an important part in the defence of the ports of Southampton and Portsmouth, and been near the front-line of conflicts through the ages, including the Spanish Armada and the Battle of Britain. Rural for most of its history, its Victorian fashionability and the growing affordability of holidays led to significant urban development during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Historically part of Hampshire, the island became a separate administrative county in 1890. It continued to share the Lord Lieutenant of Hampshire until 1974, when it was made its own ceremonial county. Apart from a shared police force, there is now no administrative link with Hampshire, although a combined local authority with Portsmouth and Southampton was considered, this is now unlikely to proceed.The quickest public transport link to the mainland is the hovercraft from Ryde to Southsea; three vehicle ferry and two catamaran services cross the Solent to Southampton, Lymington and Portsmouth.


Koumpiodontosuchus is an extinct genus of neosuchian crocodyliform that lived in the Early Cretaceous. The only species is K. aprosdokiti.

List of museums on the Isle of Wight

This list of museums on the Isle of Wight, England contains museums which are defined for this context as institutions (including nonprofit organizations, government entities, and private businesses) that collect and care for objects of cultural, artistic, scientific, or historical interest and make their collections or related exhibits available for public viewing. Also included are non-profit art galleries and university art galleries. Museums that exist only in cyberspace (i.e., virtual museums) are not included.

To use the sortable table, click on the icons at the top of each column to sort that column in alphabetical order; click again for reverse alphabetical order.

List of natural history museums

This is a list of natural history museums, also known as museums of natural history, i.e. museums whose exhibits focus on the subject of natural history, including such topics as animals, plants, ecosystems, geology, paleontology, and climatology.

Some museums feature natural-history collections in addition to other collections, such as ones related to history, art and science. In addition, nature centers often include natural-history exhibits.

List of tourist attractions in the Isle of Wight

The following is a list of tourist attractions on the Isle of Wight.

National Poo Museum

The National Poo Museum on The Isle of Wight is a museum dedicated to the collection, conservation and display of faeces. The museum, which began on 25 March 2016, is currently mobile but is establishing a permanent location at Sandown Barrack Battery.The poo is displayed in resin spheres, where it can be viewed and held. The process involves drying the poo, which can take up to 2 weeks, before it is encapsulated and placed in a vacuum chamber, so that air bubbles are removed. The main aim of the museum is to break down the 'taboo' surrounding poo in human life, and the museum hopes to do this by receiving donations of poo from celebrities. The museum also aims to educate people about the issues related to poo including dog fouling and sanitation.The museum was founded by members of Eccleston George - 'a collection of creative people who work together on many different kinds of projects', who are based on the Isle of Wight.


Neovenator (nee-o-ven-a-tor) which means "new hunter" is a genus of allosauroid dinosaur. At the time of its discovery on the Isle of Wight, United Kingdom, it was the best-known large carnivorous dinosaur from the Early Cretaceous (Hauterivian-Barremian) of Europe.


Sandown is a seaside resort and civil parish on the south-east coast of the Isle of Wight, England, with the town of Shanklin to the south and the settlement of Lake in between.

Sandown is the northernmost town of Sandown Bay, known for its long stretches of easily accessible, sandy beach.

The outer Bay is also used as a sheltered anchorage, with ships requiring salvage periodically towed there (such as the Tarpenbeck). The wreck of a salvage tug could be seen until recently at low tide under Culver Cliff, (the Harry Sharman) which had been assisting the stricken tanker Pacific Glory in the 1970s.

Together with Shanklin, Sandown forms a built-up area of 21,374 inhabitants.


Valdosaurus ("Weald Lizard") is a genus of bipedal herbivorous iguanodont ornithopod dinosaur found on the Isle of Wight and elsewhere in England. It lived during the Early Cretaceous.

Watershoot Bay

Watershoot Bay is a bay on the southernmost tip of the Isle of Wight, England. It lies 1 1⁄2 miles (2.4 km) to the south-west of the village of Niton. It faces south out into the English Channel, and is one of the smallest and remotest bays of the Isle of Wight with a rocky shoreline only around 500 feet (150 m) in length. It lies to the west of St. Catherine's Point lighthouse and is surrounded by a 170-acre area of undulating grassland and scrub owned by the National Trust and known as Knowles Farm.The beach is composed predominantly of sandstone, chalk and chert boulders (which are around 90 to 110 million years old) which are rich in fossils.The bay is best accessed from the car park about 350 yards (320 m) to the north or from the road that leads to the lighthouse but will involve a hike over rough terrain.The name of the bay may have come from that of a sloop lost there in 1755. The bay was home to a boathouse from the mid 19th century to early 20th century.

Wessex Formation

The Wessex Formation is a fossil-rich English geological formation that dates from the Berriasian to Barremian stages (about 145–125 million years ago) of the Early Cretaceous. It forms part of the Wealden Group and underlies the younger Vectis Formation and overlies the Durlston Formation. The dominant lithology of this unit is mudstone with some interbedded sandstones.


Yaverland is a village on the Isle of Wight, just north of Sandown on Sandown Bay. It has about 200 houses. About ​1⁄3 of a mile away from the village is the Yaverland Manor and Church. Holotype fossils have been discovered here of Yaverlandia and a pterosaur, Caulkicephalus. The White Air extreme sports festival was held annually at Yaverland pay and display car park between 1997 and 2008, but moved to Brighton for 2009.The older part of the village is spread along the road to Bembridge by the Norman Church. The newer part is along the seafront, consisting entirely of a bungalow estate. The name appears to come from a local rendition of "over land" - being the land over the once-tidal causeway. An alternative derivation is from "Yar Island".

In the fields below Yaverland the archaeological television programme Time Team discovered a Roman smithy.

In 1545 a battle took place in Yaverland between French forces and local levies. The French were crossing Culver Down from their landing at Whitecliff Bay in order to attack Sandown Castle and link up with a force from Bonchurch. The French fought their way into Sandown but were defeated at Sandown Castle, then under construction in the sea.

The Isle of Wight Zoo is in Yaverland. The zoo is noted for its collection of rescued tigers and increasingly realistic and spacious enclosures for them. The zoo inhabits much of the converted buildings of the Granite Fort built by Lord Palmerston as a defense against the French in 1860. The grounds were used by the military during World War II as part of the Pluto pipeline to send oil under the English Channel to France to fuel the Allied war efforts.

By the sea is the Yaverland Sailing and Boat Club and along the seashore are fossil-bearing beds, which may be explored by guided walks from Dinosaur Isle. A holiday camp is located further north in the village, and was once the site of Yaverland Battery.

In November 2008, the Isle of Wight Council opened a new public toilet block which runs completely from renewable energy generated on-site. It is thought to be one of the "greenest" facilities in the UK.Southern Vectis bus route 8 links the village with the towns of Newport, Ryde, Bembridge and Sandown, including intermediate towns. Wightbus run route 22 around Culver Way to Sandown, after Southern Vectis withdrew route 10 from the area.


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