Six-year-old boy discovers pterosaur bones on Isle of Wight
Publisher: Jon Land
Published: 10/07/2007 – 14:41:39 PM
A six-year-old boy has unearthed 120 million-year-old pterosaur bones while hunting for dinosaur relics on a holiday beach.
The find comprises wing bones of the extinct flying reptile which soared above the skies of the island during the lower Cretaceous period.
At the time, the area was a coastal lagoon occupied by crocodiles and dinosaurs.
Pterosaurs are rare finds as their bones are very delicate, like those of birds which means they do not preserve very well, according to Dr Martin Munt, curator of geology at Dinosaur Isle Museum in Sandown.
He said: “The bones are folded against each other which is usually seen when such finds are made.
“We are very pleased that Owain brought the find to us. It re-inforces our reputation as one of the main areas in the United Kingdom where anyone can discover rare dinosaur bones, just by going out for a walk on the beach.”
Dr Munt said the fossil may represent an ornithocheirid pterosaur which had a four metre wingspan – a new species which was found at Sandown four years ago.
Alternatively, the bones may come from another type of pterosaur, Istiodactylus which had an estimated wingspan of five metres, he said.
Owain and his father Glyn reported their find to the Sandown museum who sent them to the Natural History Museum in London whose experts will analyse the fossil.