Local Community News

120 MILLION YEAR OLD SHARK FOSSIL GOES ON DISPLAY

Shark FossilA fossil of a 120 million year old shark, which was discovered on Sandown beach, has gone on display at Dinosaur Isle Museum in the town. 

The fossil of the Egertonodus has been described as one of the most complete sharks of its kind to ever have been found in England and is an extremely rare occurrence of exquisite preservation.

Parts of the fossil were found on separate occasions, the first by local enthusiast Kai Bailey in early 2013, and the second by holidaymaker Stephanie Watson who was visiting the Island with her family later that year.

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It is the first time skeletal remains of this type of shark have been discovered on the Island. The fossil not only shows the skull, but also the fin spines in position in the body, as well as the cartilage that would have supported it, a pectoral fin and the ribs. It is thought the shark was around 1.5 metres in length.

Kai, who found the first piece of the shark, regularly returned to the area to see if he could find any further remains. He said:

“When I first found the shark I brought it into Dinosaur Isle as I hadn’t seen anything quite like it before.

“Over the next year I visited the site of the find quite frequently to see if any more remains could be found and almost a year after finding the skull I found part of the belly as well”.

Councillor Shirley Smart, Executive member for tourism and economy, added:

“The council is very grateful to both Kai and Stephanie for donating their finds to Dinosaur Isle so they can be enjoyed by visitors to the museum.

“Experts at the museum say that it is incredibly rare to find any more than the teeth or the fin spines of sharks as a fossil, yet more than half of the animal has been preserved. I am sure visitors will enjoy it for many years to come.”

Dinosaur Isle Museum is very grateful to Kai and Stephanie for finding the specimen, and to the Friends of Dinosaur Isle for assisting the acquisition.

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