The world’s oldest fossil of a giant flying reptile, originally found in Hastings, has been found on the Isle of Wight.
Fossil enthusiast Will Thurbin found the part of a coloborhynchus – a type of pterosaur – which is believed to be 125 million years old.
The prehistoric snout was confirmed after Mr Thurbin took his find to staff at the Dinosaur Isle Museum in Sandown.
Working with Dr Dave Martill from the University of Portsmouth, paleontologists were able to identify the fossil from the cretaceous period.
The fossil was then donated to the museum by Mr Thurbin, who is from Niton on the Isle of Wight.
“I decided to take it home and have a good look and could see that it was a bone and that there were some teeth in it,” Mr Thurbin said.
“I decided to take it to Dinosaur Isle to see if they knew what it was and it is great they have since confirmed it as a new type of fossil for the island.”
Isle of Wight council executive member for economy and tourism Shirley Smart said the find affirms the importance of dinosaur fossil enthusiasts in assisting in our understanding of dinosaurs.
“Without the dedication of people such as Will, Dinosaur Isle Museum would not have many of the fossils in the collections that it does,” she said.
“It also helps experts gain a better understanding of what these huge creatures were like.”
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