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Competition invites you to picture the Bristol Dinosaur

The competition is open to everyone – from very young children to professional illustrators

The competition is open to everyone – from very young children to professional illustrators Deasey Artist; logo compiled by Neil Donnelly

Press release issued: 9 November 2011

What do you think a dinosaur that roamed this region 210 million years ago looked like? The first Thecodontosaurus Illustration Competition invites you to put your ideas on paper for the chance to win a visit to the brand new Bristol Dinosaur Project Palaeo Lab and a handcrafted replica of one of the dinosaur’s bone.

Everyone – from very young children to professional illustrators – is invited to create an image of the West's very own dinosaur.  The competition, run by the Bristol Dinosaur Project based in the University of Bristol’s School of Earth Sciences, welcomes entries in five categories: Infant, Junior, Young Adult, Adult and Professional.

The Bristol dinosaur's scientific name, Thecodontosaurus antiquus, means ‘ancient socket toothed reptile’.  It lived around 210 million years ago on warm, tropical islands around Bristol – part of a group of small islands known as the Mendip Archipelago – a little like the Caribbean or the Seychelles today.

Thecodontosaurus was a small dinosaur, 2.5 metres long – about the size of a medium size dog such as a Labrador with a long tail.  It had powerful back legs and smaller front legs.  It walked around on all fours but reached up into the trees with its front legs, using its claws to grab hold of the stems of prehistoric trees known as cycads.  It had small sharp teeth, each with tiny sharp bumps running along one side which made the teeth more like knives, able to tear through thick, juicy leaves.  Thecodontosaurus lived in small groups known as herds, with the male animals being larger than the females.

Ed Drewitt, Bristol Dinosaur Education Officer in the University’s School of Earth Sciences said: “This is a great opportunity not only to engage more people so they can learn about the Bristol Dinosaur but for the University to archive and use more accurate images of the dinosaur.  These in turn will contribute further to the work we do with schools, communities and the scientific world.  We're particularly interested in images of the dinosaur in the island environment in which it lived.”

Further details of the competition (including information about what the Bristol Dinosaur may have looked liked, what it may have eaten and where it lived)

About the Bristol Dinosaur Project

The Bristol Dinosaur Project is enabling palaeontologists (fossil scientists) at the University of Bristol to tell people more about Bristol’s very own dinosaur which lived on tropical islands in the area 210 million years ago.  The project was formed in 1999, although original findings of the dinosaur date back to 1834 and the 1970s.

Over the past 12 years lots of Bristol dinosaur bones have been found from rocks taken from Tytherington Quarry, South Gloucestershire in 1975.  The bones of reptiles, fish and another type of dinosaur have also been found.  The project received a boost of just under £230,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund in 2009 to complete the removal of bones and to enable more people living in Bristol to learn more about their very own dinosaur.

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