Date and Time
Bath Royal Literary and Scientific Institution, 16-18 Queen Square, Bath BA1 2HN
The Isle of Wight has the most diverse Early Cretaceous (Barremian) non-avian dinosaur fauna yet recorded and its history of discovery spans some 180 years. In contrast, until recently, remains of the small animals that must surely have lived with the dinosaurs were virtually unknown and the very small number that had been found were poorly preserved. Did this poor preservation and the apparent paucity of small vertebrate remains accurately reflect species diversity, fossil abundance and preservation in the island’s dinosaur-bearing strata? If not, what was to be found and what would these fossils tell us about life on the Isle of Wight 130 million years ago? These were the questions at the heart of an ongoing study commenced in 2002, the results of which have been spectacular. A remarkable microvertebrate assemblage, including small dinosaurs for which there are currently no macro remains, has been recovered. This paints a very different picture from the previously accepted view of the world in which the Isle of Wight’s Barremian mega-fauna lived.
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