The Dinosaurs - Calamospondylus, an enigmatic Isle of Wight Coelurosaur

Calamospondylus, an enigmatic Isle of Wight Coelurosaur


Reed vertebrae





‘Calamospondylus oweni’ Fox, in Anon. 1866


Known from the Wessex Formation, so try Brighstone bay.

A small theropod, Calamospondylus probably hunted the smaller animals in the Wessex Formation.

They were believed to have been scansorial (could climb, but spent most of the time on the ground), although this is unlikely. They were also described as being capable of “leaping from tree to tree or…bounding from the grasp of other reptiles with an elasticity of spring equalling that of the grasshopper”, which is also unlikely.​

There is only one known specimen of Calamospondylus, a sacrum, which consisted of five cemented, pneumatised, vertebrae with sacral ribs and portions of the other iliac bones. However, this is now lost, and nobody bothered to get a picture of it, so no work can be done on it by anybody.

Material is currently non-existant, so please report it if you find some…

NAISH, D., HUTT, S. and MARTILL, D. M. 2001. Saurichian (sic) dinosaurs 2: theropods. In MARTILL, D. M. and NAISH, D (eds). Dinosaurs of the Isle of Wight. The Palaeontological Association. Field Guide to Fossils 10, 242-309.

NAISH, D. 2002. The historical taxonomy of the Lower Cretaceous theropods (Dinosauria) Calamospondylus and Aristosuchus from the Isle of Wight. Proceedings of the Geologists’ Association, 113, 153–163