Hampshire & Isle of Wight

Isle of Wight extinct elephant fossil on display in Sandown

Left to right - Lily Hollingshead, Paul Hollingshead with his find, and Shay Hollingshead Image copyright Dinosaur Isle
Image caption Paul Hollingshead (middle) found the bone on the west coast of the island

A fossil from an extinct species of elephant dating back 100,000 years has gone on display on the Isle of Wight.

The shoulder bone of the Palaeoloxodon antiquus was found protruding from the sand on the west coast of the island by local resident Paul Hollingshead.

The bone is at the Dinosaur Isle museum in Sandown and is thought to date from the Eemian interglacial period.

Mr Hollingshead said: "I was shocked how big it was and spent around two and a half-hours digging it out."

Image copyright Dinosaur Isle
Image caption Experts at Dinosaur Isle believe the bone to come from the straight-tusked Palaeoloxodon antiquus

He found the bone back in March but the museum said it had taken a long time to conserve so that it was fit for display.

Alex Peaker from Dinosaur Isle said: "You don't really associate elephants with the Isle of Wight but this find shows they did roam the island many years ago."

Mr Hollingshead, who has donated the bone to the museum, said: "I remember it was a big five-metre tide, so I knew the water would go out a long way, when I saw what looked like a bit of bone showing from the sand.

"I stopped and realised it was a bit bigger, so I started clearing all of the sand and stones away from it.

"I was hoping it was a dinosaur bone, so was quite shocked to find out it was from an elephant."

Related Topics

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites