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A scale model of a dinosaur found on the Isle of Wight that was an early relative of Tyrannosaurus Rex has gone on display at the council’s Dinosaur Isle in Sandown.

Eotyrannus, pronounced ee-oh-tie-ran-us, was found by Isle of Wight based amateur collector Gavin Leng in 1997 in the south of the Island. It has since been researched by dinosaur specialist Steve Hutt with the support of Portsmouth University. As well as identifying it as an early relative of T-Rex, Steve also confirmed it was a new species of dinosaur. Dinosaur Isle is currently displaying sections of the fossil including parts of its skull.

The museum commissioned a third-scale model of the new dinosaur in full colour. It has initially gone on display in the education area.

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A video showing the model and also the story behind how Eotyrannus is related to Tyrannosaurus Rex is available to view on the council’s YouTube channel at

The model is based on a scene from 125 million years ago. In the scene, Eotyrannus has approached a watering hole and has surprised a group of young dinosaurs known as Hypsilophodon. Within the scene there are 13 different species of animals known from the Isle of Wight fossil record. There are also frogs, a salamander, lizards, spiders, dragon fly, beetles, ants and fish. Visitors are challenged to spot them all.

Also featured are four different types of dinosaur footprints found at Compton Bay on the Island. These include Eotyrannus and Neovenator which was the Island’s most fearsome hunter.

Peter Pusey, Dinosaur Isle’s general manager said “The model has been made by Andrew Cox from Paleo Art and it really complements the magnificent fossils that we have on display.

“Dinosaur Isle is not just about displaying fossils, it is also about educating and showing what dinosaurs looked like hundreds of millions of years ago. Amateur collectors such as Gavin Leng, the finder of the original Eotyrannus fossil, are the life blood of the museum and this new fleshed out model brings those original bones to life.”

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The video can also be seen via the Latest News section at the council’s website

Picture: Patrick Eden Photography

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