Vectidraco daisymorrisae

The photo at the start of my blog shows me holding a fossil that I found in 2008 when I was 4 years and 7 months old, I found it when I was out on a fossil hunt with my family at Atherfield beach on the Isle of Wight, where I live. I took the fossil to a local fossil expert who then took it to Southampton University for more experts to look at it.

The fossil took a long time to be checked and identified but in 2013 when I was 9 it was officially named and released as a new species. The new pterosaur was named ‘Vectidraco daisymorrisae’, the first part of the name means ‘Isle of Wight dragon, while the species name is named after me. As I discovered the specimen I decided to donated it to The Natural History Museum in London in 2011.

Some of the photos are of  me and my family when we took the fossil up to The Natural History Museum to donate it. Lorna Steel invited us to have a look out the back of the museum to see some of the other pterosaurs they have. She told me that my fossil would be sharing a draw with some of Mary Annings pterosaur fossils, she was a fossil hunter in Victorian times.

After the release of the new find everyone in the world wanted to know about how I had found it, about my collection of fossils and bones and wanted to speak to me about it. I have been on Newsround, The One Show and Canadian news (by Skype video), done loads of radio interviews, been in the newspapers in Britain, India and Hong Kong and children’s  magazine’s in Germany and Britain, spent the day with Barney and crew from Blue Peter and appearing on there as well.

I have also been made the Children’s Ambassador for Visit Isle of Wight and had a part in an advert for the Isle of Wight which was shown on ITV.

Martin Simpson has written a children’s book about how I found the fossil; it has some brilliant illustrations in it the book it is called Daisy and The Isle of Wight Dragon.

Last year was very busy.

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Isle of Wight Autumn Walking Festival 2013

On Sunday 27th October 2013 I did a fossil walk for the Autumn walking festival. When everyone had arrived we took a group photo.

We set of on our walk it was really windy and cold, while we where walking to the beach there was a massive hale storm, we all had to face the other way, I got soaking wet. When it stopped we carried on, we had to walk down a long path down to the beach. There was a massive deep puddle at the bottom, so we had to go back to the cars and drive to a different beach.

When we arrived we walked down a small path and managed to get onto the beach. We walked all the way to end which is called Hanover Point, Martin Simpson said who ever finds an Iguanodon footprint the size of your hand or one that you can carry, you can keep it. I didn’t find any but my sister Lily found one. When we where all walking back to the car, I thought I found a footprint  but I don’t think it is! We all had a great time even though we were all wet.

I did a collection for the Godshill RSPCA home we raised £45 they where very pleased. Thank you to every one that came. 😀

Well Dressing In My Village

In Whitwell we have an old well that gets decorated once every year, this is called well dressing, it is a traditional Pagan celebration.They have different things on it every year.

This year one of the ladies who decorates it asked me if I had a drawing of the new pterosaur I had found which had been named after me, and was it ok for them to write about me for the well dressing. They copied my drawing using petals from flowers and put other dinosaurs on there as well. First they have to soak the wooden board, then the wet clay is put in and decorate it with flower petals and leaves.

In the photos you can see me standing by the board they decorated. My pterosaur is at the very top of the board, it all looks beautiful.

Oyster Shell Fossil

We went down Whale Chine on the Isle of Wight, it was very steep. We saw some Raven’s flying about and I found some of their feathers, they are the first ones I have in my collection of other feathers.
We could only get down to the stream at the bottom of Whale Chine because a big part of the cliff had fallen down and blocked the way down to the beach. Some people had climbed over it, but I didn’t want to, as it looked too scary. So we stayed at the stream and looked around there, I found a fossilized oyster shell half buried in the mud.

When we got back home I put the oyster shell in some water to soften the mud. I did this because the fossil was already wet, but if your fossil is dry then I would have wrapped it in a damp cloth then over a few days added more and more water, because sometimes if you get it wet too quickly your fossil can crack or split.
I soaked my oyster shell for a few days then cleaned off the mud with a dentist pick.

My oyster shell is 10cm long.
Name: Gryphea
Meaning: Grabber
Grouping: Mollusc, Bivalve
Common Name: Oyster, Devils toenails
Fossil size: Lengths can be 7-10cm
Habitat: Sea floor
Life span: late Triassic to late Jurassic, 220-140 million years ago.

Fossil Hunting at Shepherds Chine 2013

I found this Heart Sea Urchin when I had been out fossil hunting. I had been looking on the beach and cliffs but hadn’t found anything until we climbed up the cliff to go home, it was sitting on top of a lump of clay. It’s a really nice one as you can see the star on top and the sea urchins mouth underneath.

It’s proper name is Micraster, which means small star.
It is from Cretaceous – palaeocene, 90-60 million years ago.
My one is 2.6cm length and 2.3cm wide but they can be 5cm big, the smaller ones are rarer to find.
They lived buried in the soft mud of the chalk sea floor.

Blue Peter 12th June 2013

On the 12th June 2013 Blue Peter came round my house to film me. I got to meet David, he was the director and camera man, Lauren she was the film researcher, Nigel he was the sound man, and Barney the presenter, they were all really nice and friendly.

First David filmed me walking up stairs and going into my bedroom then looking at my collection, then he filmed me on my bed looking at my soft toy dinosaurs. When we had finished filming that, I asked Barney if he would like to see my collection of fossils, skulls and natural history things. We talked about my collection and he told about some of the brilliant things he had seen. That is when mum took a picture of me and Barney.

Then we drove to Shepherds Chine to do the interview on the beach where I found my fossil. We had a break at lunch time, we all went to the 7 Cafe in Brighstone, my lunch was delicious. We then drove to Brook Chine beach to do some more filming, when we were down the beach I found a Ballan Wrasse head, which I am going to clean up so I can have the skull.

The weather was horrible, but it was good, as you can find more fossils because they get washed out the cliffs. I had great fun filming and looking for fossils with Blue Peter. We finished at about 4.15pm then Barney gave me my Blue Peter badge, we all said goodbye and went home.

I am going to be on Blue Peter on Thursday 20th June 2013 at 5.30 on CBBC channel.

A Ballan Wrasse is a fish which can be 50cm long, it is our most colourful Wrasse, it is found inshore on rocky coasts. The adult has a thickest body and a long dorsal fin of all the Wrasse. It’s colour is marbled reddish brown or green.