Bristol Dinosaur Project

The discovery that Bristol has its own dinosaur, the Thecodontosaurus, presents a wonderful and unique opportunity to bring real science into schools. Since 2000, the Bristol Dinosaur Project team has been visiting schools all over Bristol and surrounding areas.

What is the Bristol Dinosaur?

Bristol's very own dinosaur, Thecodontosaurus, was found in 1834.

200 million years ago, when the small-sized Thecodontosaurus roamed the earth, England lay in tropical latitudes. The England that Thecodontosaurus wandered across would have resembled a tropical limestone archipelago at the time. During rainy seasons in this period, the dead bodies of dinosaurs, lizards and mammals were washed along the rivers. Some bodies washed up into caves in the limestone, and fossilized. These fossils are today found trapped in ancient cave systems in and around Bristol and South Wales, where the Bristol Dinosaur was found.

Thecodontosaurus was named in 1836 - only the fourth dinosaur ever to be named. Today, over 1000 species of dinosaurs have been named, but the world’s journey to understand dinosaurs has origins in Bristol.

What is the Bristol Dinosaur Project?

The Bristol Dinosaur Project brings science to life in the classroom through creative learning, whatever subject, theme or keystage. By working with local schools, the project aims to encourage children to think about science in a positive way, and engage with the history of their city.

The Bristol Dinosaur Project does this through:

A reconstruction of the Bristol Dinosaur, the Thecodontosaurus.
A reconstruction of the Bristol Dinosaur, the Thecodontosaurus. Image credit: Bristol University

Bristol Dinosaur Project Blog

Find out more on our blog, including stories and research from students past and present.

Our partners

The Bristol Dinosaur Project was initiated in 1999. The project has received crucial support from a variety of partners, including:

  • The Leverhulme Trust
  • Heritage Lottery Fund
  • Bristol City Museum
  • Bristol Alumni Foundation
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