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fossil3dIn May this year, scientists from the British Geological Survey (BGS) visited Dinosaur Isle and scanned each of the museum’s 30 ‘type’ fossils in 3D. Since then, each fossil has been uploaded to a new website which will feature every one of the UK’s type fossils.

A type fossil is defined as usually being the first of its kind to be discovered and these are then used to determine the species of any similar future fossil finds.

The website, which can accessed at, allows anyone to log on and view any of the fossils in full 3D. One of the main ideas behind it is so that scientists or educational establishments from across the world can view any fossil they want in intricate detail without having to see the real thing.

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Peter Pusey, Dinosaur Isle Museum’s general manager said:

“The Isle of Wight is well known as being one of the world’s most important sites for dinosaur fossil finds. Anyone can come here to hunt for fossils and even walk with dinosaurs thanks to the wonders of modern technology using a special App.

“Many people may be surprised to hear that we have 30 ‘type’ fossils in our collection, all of which have been scanned in 3D and will feature on the British Geological Survey’s new website.”

Shirley Smart, the council’s cabinet member responsible for tourism added:

“The Isle of Wight is well known as being the dinosaur capital of Europe and there have been many significant prehistoric finds made here over the decades. It is wonderful to know that dozens of fossils on display in Dinosaur Isle Museum can now be viewed all in one place from across the globe.”

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To celebrate the launch of the new website, the British Geological Survey is launching a national competition from today (22 August) aimed at children. A real life replica of one of Dinosaur Isle’s type fossils that has been scanned, a Neovenator claw, has been made using a 3D printer.

The fossil will be placed along with the real one, and visitors will need to identify which the real fossil is. All entries will be put into a draw and five winners randomly chosen will be given free museum tickets. These five winners will then be entered into a national draw to win prizes including a tablet computer with all of the 3D fossils scanned in.

Visitors to, can also enter the competition online via the website.

Photo: Isle of Wight Council

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