Discovering dinosaurs and finding fossils

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

On the Isle of Wight almost any beach will have fossils of some sort or another. On average the cliffs surrounding the Isle of Wight erode at a rate of about one metre every year which means a lot of rocks fall down on to the beach revealing their hidden treasures.

Depending on where you go you’ll find different kinds of fossils. Some beaches have so many fossils in them that you almost fall over them! Others you could look around for months and not find a thing so you have to have more specialist knowledge about the area – that all comes with experience, which of course takes time.

Where to find dinosaur remains
There are two places on the Isle of Wight. One is along the south west coast of the Island and one is a small stretch near Sandown called Yaverland. Other places have more sea creature fossils - ammonites, seashells, sea urchins, crabs and lobsters.

Hanover Point is a great place to see dinosaur foot casts. These are impressions of dinosaur footprints cast in rock. At first glance they look just like a bog-standard boulder, but on closer inspection you’ll see the distinctive three-toed outline of a dinosaur footprint. The casts fall out of the cliffs as they erode, but before you think of hunting down one of these for your mantle-piece be warned – it is an offence to remove these from the beaches as they are protected by the National Trust.

For more information related to dinosaurs, visit


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