Dr Steve Sweetman’s discoveries, found hidden in mud on the Isle of Wight, are around 130 million years old and shed valuable light on the poorly understood world in which well known dinosaurs roamed.
Steve, a research associate with the School of Earth and Environmental Sciences, has found in ancient river deposits, at least eight new dinosaurs, many different types of lizard, frogs, salamanders, and perhaps rarest of all from the time of the dinosaurs, six tiny mammals, some as small as a shrew.
Palaeontologists have previously relied on conventional surface prospecting to collect fossils exposed naturally by weather and waves. Broken bits and pieces of bone stick out of the ground which often leads to a larger fossil being discovered.
… “In the very first sample I found a tiny jaw of an extinct newt-sized, salamander-like amphibian and then new species just kept coming.
“Although we knew a lot about the larger species that existed on the island during the Early Cretaceous no-one had ever filled in the gaps. With these discoveries I can paint a really detailed picture of the creatures that scurried at the feet and in the shadows of the dinosaurs,” he said.
he very first sample I found a tiny jaw of an extinct newt-sized, salamander-like amphibian and then new species just kept coming.