Dinosaurs Take Over Museum On Isle Of Wight!

| 09 August 2001

Not a lot of people know this, but in fact, the island known by the Romans as Vectis was once home to more than just a load of old trains, yachts, caravans sites, famous monarchs and hovercraft factories.

Millions of years ago the Island was home to significant numbers of dinosaurs - and remains are frequently dug up by fossil hunters on the island.

Now visitors can explore further this fascinating era at Dinosaur Isle, a new £2.7 million pound museum, which opens this weekend on the Isle of Wight.

The attraction is housed in Sandown, in a pterodactyl-shaped building designed by local architects Rainey Petrie Johns.

The Island is one of the best places in the world to hunt for dinosaur relics - in two small areas of the island fossil animal remains from the Cretacious period have been found.

This makes the Isle of Wight a place of pilgrimage for many paleontologists. Another factor in the popularity of the island for fossil hunters is the fact that cliff collapses due to erosion regularly expose fantastic new finds. For many years the relics found by enthusiasts were displayed by the Museum Of Isle of Wight Geology.

The new museum, which has absorbed the resources and staff of the old site, displays over 1000 of the best fossils from the old museum.

An introductory exhibition gallery covers the geology and fossils of the island in a walk back through time, taking the visitor from the Ice Age of the recent past, back to the Cretaceous period when dinosaurs lived.

This leads to the large dinosaur gallery, which has exciting displays including real fossils, skeletal re-constructions, life sized fleshed re-constructions and an animatronic dinosaur.Dinosaur Isle is an Isle of Wight Council facility, and cost £2.7 million , half of which was provided by a Millenium Commission grant.

Dinosaur Isle opens on August 10 and promises to be fun for all the family!

Click here for details from our museum finder database, or here to see the attraction's website.

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