The Life sized Dinosaur trail

Follow the claw prints

We are in the process of updating a number of the plaques, but information about each of the dinosaurs can be found below.

PADDOCK 1

BABY PROTOCERATOPS

PRONOUNCED: ‘PROH-toe-SEH-ruh-tops’

Proceratops is an earlier relative of the much larger Triceratops. It is likely they travelled in very large herds of up to 1000 for protection against predators.

read more

 Click for more information

DEVON DINOSAURS 

The Jurassic Coast’s oldest herbivore, the Rhynchosaurs, lived at a time when much of the world was a desert. They may have burrowed down into the sandy ground for protection, coming out to feed during cooler times of day. Rhychosaurs pre-dated dinosaurs and lived around 235 million years ago. 

 

 

BABY BRONTOSAURUS

PRONOUNCED: ‘bron-tuh-SAWR-uh s’

Babies hatched from eggs the size of cannonballs and grew fast, developing a long, strong neck which contained a network of weight saving air sacs.

read more

 Click for more information

DEVON DINOSAURS 

While dinosaur fossil are rare on the Jurassic Coast, we do find plenty of plant fossils that reveal what animals like Brontosaurus were eating. Traces of root systems, preserved wood and even entire fossil trees are found along the World Heritage Site. The vast majority of these plants are tough, woody conifers, such as monkey puzzle trees.

 

 

BABY TRICERATOPS & EGG

PRONOUNCED: ‘try-SAIR-uh-tops’

Triceratops’ large, bony frill and three horns were
used in defence, identification, courtship and dominance displays.

read more

 Click for more information

DEVON DINOSAURS 

The oldest herbivore fossils found on the Jurassic Coast are of the pig-sized Rhynchosaurs. They lived during the Triassic, some 165 million years before Triceratops. Although also reptilian in origin, the earlier Rhynchosaurs were not dinosaurs. A replica skull can be seen in Sidmouth Museum and more complete fossils in the Royal Albert Memorial Museum, Exeter.

 

 

T REX & EGG

PRONOUNCED: ‘tye-TAN-uh-SAWR-us’

Baby T-Rex Dinosaurs may have been covered in fluffy feathers when they hatched only to lose them as they grew into the largest and most powerful meat eating dinosaur.

read more

 Click for more information

DEVON DINOSAURS 

Long before the Velociraptor or T-Rex existed, the Megalosaur, a similar, huge meat eating dinosaur that lived about 180 million years ago, walked along our coast in search of prey and left its footprints in the Dorset mud (image right). You can see them at the Dorset County Museum.

 

 

STEGOSAURUS

PRONOUNCED: ‘STEG-uh-SAWR-us’

The slow moving Stegosaurus had a short neck and small head containing a brain the size of a plumb.

read more

 Click for more information

DEVON DINOSAURS 

Some 235 million years ago, before the dinosaurs evolved, a Triassic reptile more closely related to crocodiles roamed across this then arid region. Called Centosauriscid (sten-oh-sawriss-kid) they were key predators at the time and had sails on their backs that they probably used for display and controlling body temperature, just like Stegosaurus’ bone plates.

 

 

PADDOCK 2

ALLOSAURUS X2

PRONOUNCED: ‘Al-oh-saw-us’

Allosaurus was among the earliest dinosaur discoveries and fossils are plentiful, making it a favourite of palaeontologists.

read more

 Click for more information

DEVON DINOSAURS 

The Early Cretaceous rocks of the Jurassic Coast are a globally important source of fossil turtles and primitive crocodiles that lived at the same time as Allosaurus. One of the finest examples is a perfectly preserved skull of a crocodile called Goniopholis kiplingi. Also known as ‘the Swanage Crocodile’, it is on permanent display in the Dorset County Museum.

 

 

DEINONYCHUS

PRONOUNCED: ‘Die-NON-ick-us’

A sleek and agile predator, built for speed with a spine which
can bend from side to side and a large tail for counterbalance.

read more

 Click for more information

DEVON DINOSAURS 

Deinonychus is a dromaeosaur, or raptor type dinosaur. The first dromaeosaur fossils to be found in the UK came from the Jurassic Coast. One of these is a small jaw bone, kept in the Dorset County museum. It is used by scientists to define the raptor species Nuthetes destructor, and so it is of world importance.

 

 

TOWN center

INDOOR MARKET 

BABY STEGOSAURUS

PRONOUNCED: ‘STEG-uh-SAWR-us’

Ancient tracks indicate that they lived in family herds, travelling and grazing together like sheep.

read more

 Click for more information

DEVON DINOSAURS 

At the very same time as Stegosaurus wandered across the land, this area was beneath a tropical sea. In that marine environment lived the now extinct Ammonites (image right). One of the largest of these was Titanites, superb fossil examples of which can be seen on Portland, and on display in Portland Museum.

 

 

BEST BOOKS, PARADE

APATOSAURUS

PRONOUNCED: ‘‘Ap-at-owe-sore-uss’

The stocky Apatosaurus had a slow, plodding gait and an extraordinary neck that it could bend sideways into a U-shape.

read more

 Click for more information

DEVON DINOSAURS 

As the Apatosaurus grazed peacefully on land, in the ocean lived the scariest predator ever – the Pliosaur. This 2.5m long fossil skull of a Pliosaur (image right) is one of the best in the world and was found on the Jurassic Coast. If they hadn’t gone extinct Pliosaurs would be hunting and eating killer whales. You can see this fossil in the Dorset County Museum.

 

 

EXMOUTH LIBRARY

IGUANODON

PRONOUNCED: ‘ig-WAN-oh-don’

This bulky herbivore was one of the most successful species of dinosaur and their fossils are found all over the world.

read more

 Click for more information

DEVON DINOSAURS 

While iguanodon bones are rare on the Jurassic Coast their fossil footprints are common. It makes sense if you think about it – an individual dinosaur can leave thousands of footprints but only one skeleton. You can see some fine examples of fossil dinosaur footprints on display at Dorset County Museum (image right).

 

 

MANOR GARDENS

PTERANODON

PRONOUNCED: ‘teh-RAN-oh-don’

Pteranodon is one of the largest and best known flying reptiles. Some adults had a 20 metre wingspan but only males developed the famous head crests.

read more

 Click for more information

DEVON DINOSAURS 

This tiny specimen (image right) is the top jaw and skull of a Pterosaur which lived along our coast. On the Jurassic Coast rocks known as the Purbeck Limestone group have revealed remarkable evidence of Pterosaurs walking on all four of limbs.
Fossilised pterosaur footprints capture the moment when one of these creatures walked in the soft surface mud of a lagoon around 140 million years ago.

 

 

The Pavillion

ICHTHYOSAUR

PRONOUNCED: ‘ICK-thee-oh-SAW-rus’

Although they look similar, Ichthyosaurs are not related to dolphins or sharks. They aren’t dinosaurs either, they are giant marine reptiles.

read more

 Click for more information

DEVON DINOSAURS 

The first ichthyosaurs appeared in the Triassic and after being hugely successful during the Jurassic they began to decline. The last ichthyosaurs disappeared in the Cretaceous, several million years before the last dinosaurs died out. The Jurassic Coast is one of the richest sources of Ichthyosaur remains in the world. You can see fine examples displayed at Lyme Regis Museum.

 

 

BABY PTERANODON (SHELTER OPPOSITE PAVILION)

PRONOUNCED: ‘teh-RAN-oh-don’

Pteranodon is one of the largest and best known flying reptiles. Some adults had a 20 metre wingspan but only males developed the famous head crests.

read more

 Click for more information

DEVON DINOSAURS 

Lyme Regis, on the Jurassic Coast, is the best source in the world for fossils of Dimorphodon, an early type of flying reptile. These creatures had large heads and were not great flyers like Pterandons – they were more like reptilian Pitbulls that took short flights only when necessary. A fragment of Dimorphodon skull can be seen at Lyme Regis Museum.

 

 

The MAER

BRACHIOSAURUS

PRONOUNCED: ‘BAK-truh-SAWR-us’

Brachiosaurs used their very long necks to graze on foliage high above the ground. Plant material was digested in their huge guts, possibly in fermentation chambers.

read more

 Click for more information

DEVON DINOSAURS 

Spectacular fossils of what are probably brachiosaur footprints were uncovered in 1996 in Keats Quarry, Dorset. These huge dish-shaped depressions in the rock are 140 million years old and show that huge plant eating dinosaurs once trampled here around what may have been a muddy watering hole.