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Last Updated: Tuesday, 10 July 2007, 16:26 GMT 17:26 UK
Boy finds extinct reptile's bones
Owain Lewis
Owain Lewis discovered the extremely rare fossil on the beach
A six-year-old has unearthed 120 million-year-old pterosaur bones while hunting for dinosaur relics during a day out at a beach with his father.

Owain Lewis discovered the extremely rare fossil, part of a flying reptile called a pterosaur, at Compton Bay near Freshwater on the Isle of Wight.

The find comprises delicate wing bones of the extinct flying reptile.

Owain and his father, Glyn, took them to the Sandown museum who sent them to the Natural History Museum.

He is chuffed to bits that he has discovered something so important
Owain Lewis' mother Kaye

The fossilised bones of the pterosaur, which had a wingspan of up to 5m (16ft), will be analysed further by experts in London to see whether it represents an ornithocheirid pterosaur - a new species which was found at Sandown four years ago.

Alternatively, the bones may come from another type of pterosaur, istiodactylus, said Dr Martin Munt, curator of geology at Dinosaur Isle Museum in Sandown.

"The bones are folded against each other which is usually seen when such finds are made," he added.

"We are very pleased that Owain brought the find to us.

'Palaeontology career '

"It reinforces our reputation as one of the main areas in the United Kingdom where anyone can discover rare dinosaur bones, just by going out for a walk on the beach."

Owain's mother, Kaye Lewis, said: "Most six-year-old boys are interested in dinosaurs but Owain seems to be exceptionally keen. He is always coming back with boxes of things he has found.

"When he went to the island, he knew he would get a few finds and he is chuffed to bits that he has discovered something so important.

"We would like to think he would follow a career in palaeontology but we will see."

Huge bird-like dinosaur unearthed
14 Jun 07 |  Science/Nature

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