The remains of a rare Iguanodon skull fossil have been found on the Isle of Wight.
The fossil was found by Emily Tabassi-Gill and her family, from East Sussex, on a fossil walk led by Dinosaur Isle staff. The find, a left pre-maxilla, is the front of the horse-like skull of the plant eating dinosaur Iguanodon. Skulls of dinosaurs are incredibly rare as they are fragile and less likely to become fossils than bones such as the vertebrae (back bones) and limbs. Dinosaur Isle Community Learning Assistant Alex Peaker said:
“We are really grateful to Emily for her donation. Her generosity and that of so many other people is what helps us maintain a fantastic display and helps our understanding of the past progress. Because of this generosity we can make sure the museum is stacked full of real fossils. Emily’s discovery is now on display so coming to the museum is a fantastic opportunity to see and find out more about it.”
Emily wasted no time in donating her find to Dinosaur Isle. She said:
“It was so exciting to have discovered the fossil. We were on a fantastic fossil walk with Alex who was identifying everybody’s finds. I was excited to have spotted something and it was fascinating to watch Alex and his colleagues dig the whole fossil out of the clay. “When Alex explained that it could be something unusual my family and I decided to donate it to the museum. I feel it is important that experts like Alex can use the fossil in their research and that it is kept safely by the museum for the future. We are delighted that ‘our fossil’ will be on display at the Dinosaur Isle Museum and we will definitely be back to see it!”