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.

Manx Shearwater Skulls

These are some of the Manx Shearwater skulls I found on Skomer Island in Wales. When I got home I had to clean them up by pulling off the feathers that were still left on and then putting them in hot water so I could clean up the skull.

If you look at the photos one of the skulls has thinner sections in it, I think this one is a juvenile bird and the skull hasn’t finished growing.

Skomer Night Boat Trip August 2013

When we were still in Wales we went on a night boat trip to watch the Manx Shearwaters and Puffins come back in to land on Skomer.

It was really fun, I saw loads of puffins some were really close, some had sand eels in their mouths for their young.

When all the Manx Shearwaters come in, they land on the water in groups it is called rafting. They all fly into land when it is dark in big groups, so they don’t get eaten by the gulls.

I loved Wales, there was loads to see, can’t wait to go back.

Skomer August 2013

When me and my family went to Wales we went to Skomer Island by boat, it was really exciting, it took 20 minutes to get there. While we were waiting we saw loads of Moon Jelly Fish.

We stayed on Skomer for a whole day and explored the island, we saw Puffins, Fulmars, Manx Shearwaters, Chough, Peregrine Falcon, Gulls, Grey Seals, rabbits, butterflies, lots of dead birds and Sexton beetles, these are beetles that eat up the dead bodies of animals and birds, they have a lovely red and black pattern on them and they are about 2.5cm long.

The dead birds were Manx Shearwaters that the Great Black Back gulls had killed and eaten, but had left their wings and heads. I bought some of the dead birds home, they didn’t have any flesh on them, just dried skin and feathers.

I had a fantastic time on Skomer, it was really fun. I loved seeing all the different birds, I couldn’t believe how many different ones I saw in one day.

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. 😀

Sheep Skull

I got my sheep skull when we went on a walk. A friend had found a decomposed sheep while she was walking her dog and told us where we could find it. So the next day we went out to look for it; dad removed the skull, there wasn’t any skin or flesh left on it. When we got it home I cleaned it up a little with some bleach to kill any bugs and glued the teeth in the right place with super glue. Then dad cut a short piece of wood to hold the jaw in place. It is now on the shelf in my room, with the rest of my skulls.

Badger Skull

I found the badger skull like this, it was in our stream down the garden, near the tunnel where the stream goes under the road. It looked like it had been there for a long time because it had mud were it’s brain should be, this is called the cranium.
It has a hole in its cranium and it’s cheek bone (zygomatic arch) and there is a hole nearer the orbit. I am not sure but it might have been hit by a car and fell in the stream from the road.
I know it’s an adult because the plates in it’s skull are fused together and the sagittal crest on top of the skull is quite large. If you have a look at my baby badger bones at the skull, you can see it hasn’t got a sagittal crest; and you can still see the lines in the skull where it hasn’t fused together because it was only a baby badger.