Page last updated at 23:37 GMT, Monday, 7 December 2009

Dinosaur skeleton to be assembled

How the iguanodons would have looked
It is expected to take at least a year to assemble the vertebra

Researchers at an Isle of Wight museum have begun the painstaking process of assembling an almost complete 30ft (9m) dinosaur skeleton, the BBC can reveal.

Visitors to the Dinosaur Isle Museum will be able watch experts build the vertebra of an Iguanodon, which roamed the Earth 130 million years ago.

It was uncovered over several years by fossil hunter Nick Chase, who then donated it to the Sandown museum.

Work on the skeleton, known as Big Iggy, is due to take at least a year.

Mr Chase told BBC News: "Once I realised that there was something significant here, it was a matter of going down to the site basically, every tide at least once a day.

"As the sea washed away the rockfall, more and more bits would be uncovered all the time.

"It is not uncommon to find bits and pieces of dinosaur skeletons along this coast but to find a substantial portion of one is much rarer."

At the moment, parts of the four-tonne plant eater remain in dozens of boxes.


Stephen Hutt, curator of the Dinosaur Isle Museum, explains what happened to the dinosaur millions of years ago

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