The Eden Christmas quiz

December 22, 2014
Author: Kathryn Nichols


Between the turkey and mince pies, why not challenge your family or friends to our fun Christmas quiz? Split into teams or compete head-to-head and see who comes out on top.

You can try our quiz below or download the quiz as a PDF to print out.

Round 1 – Christmas horticulture

Holly with berries

Q1. What colour are the berries on a mistletoe plant?

a. Red
b. Black
c. Purple
d. White

Q2. Which country does the poinsettia plant originate from?

a. Mexico
b. Germany
c. Australia
d. South Africa

Q3. The first artificial Christmas trees where made by the Germans in the 19th century. What did they make them out of?

a. Woven hair
b. Dyed goose feathers
c. Shredded cotton
d. Hand cut newspaper

Q4. Holly trees are either male or female. On which tree would you find the berries?

a. Male
b. Female
c. They both have berries on them

Q5. Since 1947, the Trafalgar Square Christmas tree in London has been donated to the people of Britain by which city?

a. Berlin, Germany
b. Oslo, Norway
c. Paris, France
d. Stockholm, Sweden

Round 2 – Christmas around the world


Q6. Sinterklaas’s (St Nicholas’s) arrival in the Netherlands is broadcast live on Dutch national TV every year. How does he arrive?

a. By car
b. By boat
c. By sleigh
d. By plane

Q7. Between 16 and 24 December there are early morning road closures in Caracas, the capital city of Venezuela, so that the residents can do what?

a. Roller skate to mass
b. Dance to carols
c. Race horses
d. Perform nativity plays

Q8. Stollen originates from which country?

a. Germany
b. Sweden
c. Switzerland
d. Belgium

Q9. In France, what do children traditionally put in front of the chimney ready for Father Christmas instead of stockings?

a. Woollen hats
b. School satchels
c. Shoes
d. A pair of trousers

Q10. In Spain, when are Christmas presents exchanged?

a. 8 December
b. 24 December
c. 31 December
d. 6 January

Round 3 - Cornwall

Mousehole at night with Christmas lights

Q11. What is the Cornish word for Christmas?

a. Pask
b. Nadelik
c. Kalann Genver
d. Penn-bloedh

Q12.Which festival is celebrated every year on 23 December in the Cornish village of Mousehole? (This festival inspired the children’s picture book The Mousehole Cat by Antonia Barber.)

a. Storm Cat Festival
b. Mowzer Night
c. Stargazy Feast
d. Tom Bawcock’s Eve

Q13. Richard Trevithick – a famous Cornish engineer – demonstrated which new invention to the public in Camborne on Christmas Eve in 1801?

a. Steam engine
b. Hot air balloon
c. Airplane
d. Bicycle

Q14. Cornwall has three patron saints. Which of these isn’t one of them?

a. St Piran
b. St Petroc
c. St Michael
d. St Austell

Q15. What type of traditional dancing is done at the Montol Festival in the Cornish town of Penzance every year on 21 December?

a. Pose dancing
b. Hay dancing
c. Guise dancing
d. Hide dancing

Round 4 – Christmas songs

Christmas choir singing

Q16. Which birds do not feature in The Twelve Days of Christmas?

a. Swans
b. Pheasants
c. Geese
d. Turtle doves

Q17. Which of these well-known Christmas songs is the only one to have reached number one in the UK Official Singles Chart?

a. Mistletoe and Wine – Cliff Richard
b. All I Want for Christmas is You – Mariah Carey
c. Fairytale of New York – The Pogues
d. I Wish it Could be Christmas Everyday – Wizzard

Q18. In the carol O Come All Ye Faithful, what is the repeated line in the chorus?

a. Glory to the new born King
b. O come, let us adore him
c. And Heaven and nature sing
d. Sleep in heavenly peace

Q19. What’s the next line to this famous song from The Snowman: ‘We’re walking in the air…’?

a. I’m flying in the night time sky
b. I’m riding in the moonlight blue
c. We’re swimming in the frozen blue
d. We’re floating in the moonlit sky

Q20. Which year was the original Band Aid song Do They Know It’s Christmas released?

a. 1982
b. 1984
c. 1986
d. 1988

Click here to download the Eden Christmas Quiz


Q1. d; Q2. a; Q3. b; Q4. b; Q5. b; Q6. b; Q7. a; Q8.  a; Q9.  c; Q10.  d; Q11. b; Q12.  d; Q13.  a; Q14. d; Q15. c; Q16. b; Q17. a; Q18.  b; Q19. d; Q20. b



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How to make a peg reindeer decoration

December 19, 2014
Author: Kathryn Nichols


This quirky Christmas decoration is a quick and easy craft project, which is a great activity for kids to do during the school holidays.

Clothes peg reindeer decoration hung in a tree in the Eden Project Rainforest Biome

You will need:

  • a wooden peg
  • pipe cleaners
  • two googly eyes
  • Christmas twine or string
  • a small red pom-pom
  • scissors
  • PVA glue
  • a felt tip pen

A picture of everything you need to make a peg reindeer - pipe cleaners, twine, googly eyes and a peg

What to do

  1. Take your twine and tie the two ends together so that it makes a loop. If you don’t have twine, string or thin ribbon works just as well.
  2. Squeeze the peg to open it, and slide your loop of twine into the peg’s hinge, pulling it hard to wedge it into the spring.

Wine loop wedged into the hinge of a peg

  1. Take a pipe cleaner and cut it to about 10cm. Push it through the middle loop of the spring.

Peg with a pipe cleaner pushed through the centre of the peg's spring

  1. Take short offcuts of pipe cleaner and twist them around the one you've just attached to the peg to make antlers.
  2. Stick the pom-pom over the groove where the hinge meets the wood to make your reindeer’s nose. You can use glue, but an easy way to secure the nose is to trap part of it under the wire hinge. To do this, use your fingernail to lift the wire slightly and slide some of the pom-pom fluff underneath before releasing the wire to trap it in place.
  3. Glue the googly eyes in place and use a felt tip pen to draw on a mouth.

Completed peg reindeer decoration

Your reindeer decoration is complete! Hang him on your Christmas tree, or add a festive twist to your outfit by using him as a pendant or brooch.

Get creative and pimp up your reindeer with extra accessories. You could use glitter, multi-coloured pipe cleaners, or could even paint your peg beforehand. The more extravagant, the better! We’d love to see your creations, so tweet pictures to @edenproject or post them onto our Facebook page.


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Christmas, Creativity, Play

Eden launches mini-bond on Crowdcube to fund learning village

October 14, 2014
Author: Hannah

We’re aiming to raise up to £1.5m through a mini-bond to create a ground-breaking new learning village on the edge of our site.

We’ve teamed up with the UK’s largest investment crowdfunding platform Crowdcube to give investors the opportunity to grow one of the UK’s best education centres.

Our ambition is to re-purchase and lovingly restore two farmhouses - Restineas and Vounder (pictured below) - and their outbuildings on the edge of our site. The plan is to turn the collection of old buildings into a unique venue for teaching quality horticulture, cookery and food production. The learning village would be surrounded by a new market garden.

Young people studying at the Eden Project

The issuing of the Eden Project Bond will enable Eden to access finance from its own supporters, as well as a crowd of registered investors and the general public through Crowdcube, to help do this.

The mini-bond aims to raise up to £1.5 million towards the project. The total cost of the restoration of the properties is expected to be around £3m and the mini-bond will allow the first phase to begin.

Eden Executive Director David Harland said: ‘We hope that people will join us on this exciting journey to create a fantastic educational facility. When complete, the learning village will give young people the chance to study and work in very special surroundings within the Eden Project.’

Vounder and Restineas Farm buildings, near the Eden Project, Cornwall

How does the Eden Project Bond work?

Investors can put in a minimum of £500 and in return get 6% per annum over the four-year term of the bond. Investments are in multiples of £500 and there is no upper limit. The investment opportunity will be available on Crowdcube for 60 days or when it reaches its target; whichever is sooner.

You should read the full Invitation Document on Crowdcube and consider the risks before investing as your capital will be at risk.

Risk Warning: Please consider the risks before investing. Eden Project Bonds are long term investments, placing your capital at risk. Your returns are not guaranteed and you may not receive back all of your original investment.

Eden Project Bond is issued by Eden Project Bonds plc, a UK Company with its registered office, Bodelva, Par, Cornwall, PL24 2SG. This advertisement, which is a financial promotion for the purposes of Section 21 of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000, is being issued by Eden Project Bonds plc, which accepts responsibility for the information presented. This advertisement has been approved as a financial promotion for UK publication by Crowdcube Ventures Limited, which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.”

How can you take part?

Find out more about the Eden Project Bond.

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Recipe for blackberry and apple frangipane by Eden's foraging expert Emma Gunn

September 11, 2014
Author: Emily Ould

Harvest festival header

Emma Gunn, foraging expert at EdenTry this delicious blackberry and apple frangipane recipe, shared with you by our foraging expert Emma Gunn. You can watch Emma demonstrate how to make this dish at our annual harvest festival on Friday 12 September.

Frangipane dish

What you will need:


  • 6oz plain flour
  • 4oz butter
  • 2 tbsp caster sugar

Frangipane filling

  • 50g butter
  • 50g caster sugar
  • 50g ground almonds
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 apples

Blackberry jam filling

  • 250g blackberries
  • 200g jam sugar
  • juice of 1/2 a lemon



1. Make the jam by putting the blackberries in a saucepan with a splash of water and gently heat.
2. When the fruits are soft and pulpy, take off the heat and press through muslin or a fine sieve until you have as much juice as possible.
3. Throw away the pulp and pips and return the liquid to the saucepan, adding the lemon juice and jam sugar and heating gently until the sugar has dissolved.
4. Turn up the heat and stir continuously to prevent sticking and either use a sugar thermometer to check when jam setting point has been reached, otherwise test an occasional drop on a cold saucer until it wrinkles when you push the jam with your finger (don't burn your finger).
5. Store in sterilised jars. Leave it to cool.


1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees. Combine the flour, butter and sugar in a food processor and add water until it combines to form a ball of dough.
2. Roll it out and line a flan or pie dish, bake it blind with baking parchment and dried beans to weigh it down - bake until cooked but not showing colour (about 10 mins).
3. Take out of the oven and leave to cool. Spread a good thick layer of jam on the pastry.


1. Beat the butter and sugar together until creamy, then beat in the egg and ground almonds. Spoon or pour this onto the jam.
2. Peel and core the apples and slice towards the centre to form crescent shapes.
3. Lay these gently facing the same way on to the frangipane, sprinkle them with a little sugar and return to the oven and bake for about 20 minutes or until a golden colour.
4. If you wish to caramelise the apples, sprinkle sugar on them and use a blow torch.

Harvest festival footer

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Food, Harvest, Recipe
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Recipe for Jiaozi Chinese dumplings by Jeremy Pang, head chef of School of Wok

September 10, 2014
Author: Emily Ould

Harvest festival header

Jeremy Pang head chefTo celebrate our annual Harvest Festival we thought we'd share with you a delicious Jiaozi Chinese dumplings recipe – made by School of Wok's head chef Jeremy Pang who will be making this tasty dish at Eden on Monday 15 September!

Chinese dumplings dish

What you will need:

The dough

  • 225g plain flour
  • 150ml hot water
  • 20ml vegetable oil

The filling

  • 1/2 bunch of coriander
  • 3 spring onions
  • 5 slices of ginger (finely chopped)
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 5 Chinese mushrooms

To marinade

  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • salt to taste
  • 2 tablespoons light soy sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon sugar

Suggested filling options

Option 1:

  • 250g diced raw prawns
  • 150g minced pork

Option 2:

  • 1 bunch finely chopped Chinese chives
  • 1/4 finely sliced cabbage (Chinese or Western)

Option 3:

  • 1 bag finely chopped spinach
  • 1 box finely diced mixed mushrooms


 The dough

1. Sieve the flour into a mixing bowl
2. Gradually add the water, while mixing with a fork/hand
3. Once all the water is added, fold into a ball
4. Knead for 5 minutes on a hard surface until slightly elastic consistency is reached (this should be a 'play dough' consistency – you may need more/less water for the correct consistency – use the measurements as a guideline only)
5. Once consistency is reached, roll out the pastry to roughly 1-2mm thick
6. Use a 70mm diameter circular cutter to cut out as many pastries as possible

The filling and marinade

1. Finely chop all filling ingredients
2. Mix with marinade
3. Mix with any of the above fillings

The wrap

1. Place filling in the centre of the dough
2. Fold the bottom centre over the filling to form a semi circle and pinch the top tight
3. Pinch the 2 corners of the semi circle together leaving 2 symmetrical 'Mickey Mouse ear' shapes between your centre fold and the corner folds
4. Now pinch the ears in towards you to make 4 layered folds
5. Fold over into a 'half moon' shape so that the dumplings sit easily on a plate


1. Heat 2 tbsp vegetable oil in a frying pan to a high heat
2. Place dumplings in pan – base down
3. Now turn the heat down to medium and fry dumplings until base is golden brown
4. Using a lid as a shield, pour hot water into pan until dumplings are 1/2 covered. Cover quickly with lid
5. Cover with lid for 5-10 mins on medium heat until all water has evaporated
6. Once pan is completely dry of water, allow dumplings to crisp up on the bottom for a further minute


Serve with a mixture of equal amounts of soy sauce, vinegar and matchsticks of ginger.

Harvest festival footer

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Food, Harvest, Recipe
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Top 10 dinosaur toys

September 4, 2014
Author: Emily Ould

Discover a lost world of dinosaurs at the Eden Project this summer. Get ready by reading our dino-themed Blog articles!

To coincide with our exciting Dinosaurs Unleashed programme we’ve put together our 10 favourite dinosaur-themed toys from the Eden online shop. Not only do they guarantee hours of fun for your little monsters; we’ve made sure each product is good for the planet too.

1. Bamboo dinosaurs, £6.50

Go back in time and live amongst the dinosaurs with these adorable bamboo shaped toys. Great for little ones, there are four different species to choose from, which come in four bright and playful colours.

Bamboo dinosaur toys

 2. Dig & Play Dinosaur World, £11

Fancy becoming a palaeontologist? Then dig deep with this excavation kit, which helps you unearth dinosaurs lost to a time when an ancient volcano erupted.

Dinosaur world game

3. Kids dinosaur apron, £8.50

Keep the kids entertained during the summer holidays with this dinosaur apron, which will make sure they stay clean and tidy while doing all sorts of mucky things indoors and out – from baking to gardening!

Dinosaurs Unleashed apron

4. Dinosaur drinking bottle, £14.50

This dinosaur-patterned drinking bottle is made from tough, recycled aluminium – perfect for outdoors.

Dinosaurs Unleashed drinking bottles

 5. Dinosaur jigsaw puzzle, £14.50

We love this chunky handmade bamboo jigsaw puzzle! Brightly coloured and alphabetised, not only is it fun to play with, it will also encourage your little ones with colour and letter recognition as well as hand-eye co-ordination.

Brightly coloured 3D wooden dinosaur shaped jigsaw puzzle

6. Dinosaurs Unleashed mug, £6.50

Bring a part of the Eden Project home with you with your very own Dinosaurs Unleashed mug. Designed and printed in Cornwall, this lovely souvenir is made from quality fine bone china.

Dinosaurs Unleashed mugs

7. Dinosaur Race, £13.50

This game is fantastic for encouraging little ones to learn, share and play together. Watch your dinosaur race to the finish line as you compete against others.

Dinosaur Race game

8. Dinosaur stationary set, £6.50

Write your discoveries in our Dinosaurs Unleashed notebook – with a pencil that has its very own dinosaur pencil topper! This set also comes with a rubber and a ferocious-looking fridge magnet.

Dinosaur stationary set

9. Dinosaur Discovery puzzle, £11.50

Lose yourself in a prehistoric world as you complete this imaginative jigsaw puzzle. This educational 150-piece puzzle features useful information about dinosaurs and prehistoric plants.

Dinosaur discovery puzzle

 10. Pull along dinosaur, £12.50

This adorable toy is just the thing for little ones with a passion for all things dinosaur. With a string to help pull it along, this sustainably sourced dinosaur moves its arms and legs as you walk.

Pull along dinosaur toy

Get closer to dinosaurs this summer and make sure you visit us during our Dinosaurs Unleashed programme. Here until 16 September.

Dinosaurs Unleashed at Eden Project, 21 July – 16 Sept 2014, Become an explorer, enter the Crater of the Tyrant King, find the escaped dinosaur, and much more! Click to find out more

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Dinosaurs, Shop
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Recipe for baked buckwheat noodles with cheese, courgettes and potato by Antonio Carluccio

September 3, 2014
Author: Emily Ould

Harvest festival header

Star chef CarluccioGodfather of Italian cookery Antonio Carluccio will be giving a demonstration at our Harvest Festival on Sunday 14 September 2014, so we thought we'd share his recipe with you for this delicious autumnal dish, known in Italian as Pizzoccheri della Valtellina. 

Italian recipe dish

This classic recipe from the valley near Milan is made in various versions. Sometimes the noodles are served just with cabbage and potatoes, sometimes with added spinach.

What you will need:

  • 300g dried pizzoccheri pasta
  • 300g courgettes, trimmed and cubed
  • 300g waxy potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 200g Bitto cheese, or Fontina or Toma, cut into small cubes
  • 60g unsalted butter
  • 80g Parmesan, freshly grated
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely sliced


1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/Gas 4.
2. Put the pasta, courgettes and potatoes into a large saucepan full of boiling salted water, and cook until everything is tender, for about 12 minutes.
3. Drain well, then mix with the Bitto cheese, 40g of the butter and 60g of the Parmesan. Put in a suitable oven dish. Sprinkle with the remaining Parmesan and bake in the preheated oven for about 20 minutes.
4. Meanwhile, melt the remaining butter in a pan with the sliced garlic and heat until foaming.
5. Remove the pizzoccheri from the oven and spoon over the melted garlic butter. Serve hot. A good glass of Sassella wine will be complementary.


You could replace the courgettes with the more traditional cabbage, or you could use spinach or even quartered Brussels sprouts.

Antonio Carluccio photo above (c) Tony Briggs

Harvest festival footer

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Prehistoric plants growing at Eden

August 22, 2014
Author: Tom

Discover a lost world of dinosaurs at the Eden Project this summer. Get ready by reading our dino-themed Blog articles!

The plants shown below have been around for millions of years, and we've got examples of all of them growing at the Eden Project. During our Dinosaurs Unleashed event, you can follow a trail around Eden to see all of them!

Outdoor Biome

Soft tree fern, Dicksonia antarctica

Prehistoric plant called dicksonia antarctica tree fern

These ferns come from Australia and can reach 15m in height. However, they still weren't tall enough to keep out the way of the big plant-eating dinosaurs. The big veggie dinos chomped through about 500kg of plant material a day.

Wollemi pine, Wollemia nobilis

Prehistoric plant called wollemi pine wollemia nobil

Fossils of this prehistoric tree showed it was around in the Jurassic era, 200 million years ago, when Stegosaurus and Iguanodon roamed the earth. Scientists thought it was extinct. In 1994, David Noble, adventurous rock climber and forest trekker, spotted an unusual plant in a very remote spot of temperate rainforest in New South Wales, Australia. It was identified as a Wollemi pine – it  wasn't extinct after all!

Dawn redwood, Metasequoia glyptostroboides

Prehistoric plant called dawn redwood metasequoia

Although the one at Eden is only a baby, these trees can grow to a height of 60m – that's higher than our Rainforest Biome! The T. rex walked among these giants back in the late Cretaceous period 67 million years ago. The trees were thought to be extinct until, in the 1940s, explorers found a whole forest of them in China.

Magnolia ‘Star Wars’, Magnolia grandiflora

Prehistoric plant called magnolia star wars

Magnolias and their close ancestors were around in the Cretaceous period (142 to 65 million years ago). These plants were around before bees existed so beetles pollinated them instead.

Ginkgo, Ginkgo biloba


This tree is sometimes called a 'living fossil'. Fossils of its ancestors go back 270 million years to the Permian times when trilobites were alive. It almost became extinct in the wild, but was luckily maintained in Chinese monastery gardens – so we still have it today.

Rainforest Biome

Giant hare’s foot fern, Davallia solida

Prehistoric plant called Giant Hare's Foot

This Australian fern is named for its furry ‘feet’ at the base of its stems!

Stag horn fern, Platycerium bifurcatum

Prehistoric plant called Stag horn fern

Surprisingly, these ferns never actually needed soil to grow. Instead, they clung to rocks (and to big trees today) and made their own soil as old leaves died. Naturally occurring from Indonesia, and grown in places as far as the coastal regions of New South Wales in Australia, this ephiphyte plant has a dramatic exotic appearance, as well as being widely used today in tropical gardens.

Cycad, Dioon spinulosum

Prehistoric plant called giant dioon spinulosu

The cycads and their look-alike ancestors have been around 280 million years and have survived several mass extinctions.

Dutchman’s pipe, Aristolochia gigantea

Prehistoric plant called dutchman's pipe aristolochia

These plants with their scrambling leaves and massive drooping flowers were around when dinosaurs roamed the earth. In the Cretaceous period (142 -65 million years ago) the early flowers had arrived, with many pollinated by insects too – just like flowers today. The Aristolochia’s smelly flowers attract flies, which get trapped inside and covered in pollen before the flower lets them out. Once used as medicines in Brazil, these types of flowers are now known to be poisonous!

Black pepper, Piper nigrum

Prehistoric plant called Piper nigrum

The first ancestor fossils of the pepper family were found in Colombia. These fossils originated from way back during the Cretaceous period (145–100 million years ago). After the dinosaurs died out plenty of new things happened to the world's climate, affecting places all over the world. In South America, the Andes mountains grew up, while the Amazon rainforest first sprang into being, and lots of different pepper species eventually started to grow and grow.

Mediterranean Biome

Horsetail restio, Elegia capensis

Prehistoric plant called Horsetail restio

These plants were also around in the late Cretaceous period (145–100 million years ago) and grew in Gondwana, which was one of the supercontinents that made up the earth millions of years ago. This type of plant could well have been a tasty snack for the Ankylosaurus and Triceratops.

King protea, Protea cynaroides

Prehistoric plant called Horsetail restio

Plants in this family are found in South America, South Africa, Australia, and New Zealand. Some of these plants’ ancestors date back 65 million years to when South Africa was a tropical forest.

Allspice, Calycanthus occidentalis

Prehistoric plant called allspice calycanthus

This interesting looking flower was around at the end of the Cretaceous period and smells a bit like bubblegum. It's used in some perfumes and, despite its name, is actually poisonous.

Sago cycad, Cycas revoluta

Prehistoric plant called sago cycad cycas revoluta

Ancestors of this plant were around 270 million years ago, even before the dinosaurs ruled the earth. Like lots of other plants, this one is very, very poisonous. If it's eaten, it's even likely to cause death.

Hard fern, Blechnum spicant

Prehistoric plant called hard fern, blechnum spicant

Ferns like this have been around for up to 350 million years – that's way before the dinosaurs! These ferns were one of the first big plants to live on land and helped make oxygen, which made the land ready for other life to start living too.

Dinosaurs Unleashed at Eden Project, 21 July – 16 Sept 2014, Become an explorer, enter the Crater of the Tyrant King, find the escaped dinosaur, and much more! Click to find out more


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Fossils: a beginner's guide

August 18, 2014
Author: Emily Ould

Discover a lost world of dinosaurs at the Eden Project this summer. Get ready by reading our dino-themed Blog articles!

Without fossils, we would know very little about the prehistoric animals that lived millions of years ago. They are the keys to unlocking a lost world. Sometimes it’s hard to believe that, once, enormous dinosaurs walked the earth just like we do!

Early fossil finds

When people started to unearth fossils they didn’t realise that what they were uncovering had lain buried in the ground for millions of years. Gradually, as more fossils appeared, people had to accept that there must have been something before us - in fact, it was a huge variety of creatures, including dinosaurs.

Eventually, scientists discovered that fossils could tell us all sorts of things about a dinosaur, from the way it moved to how it behaved around other species.

On average, a new dinosaur species is discovered around every 10 days.

A picture of a fossilised dinosaur brain

This fossilized brain belonged to a dinosaur with a thick skull, Pachycephalosaurus wyomingensis (‘thick-headed-lizard'). It may have used its head as a weapon in combat with other dinosaurs.

So, what are fossils?

A fossil is the remains of a plant or animal – such as a dinosaur – preserved underground in layers of mud and sand for millions of years, until eventually it hardens and turns into rock – and there you have it – a fossil!

Even though dinosaurs were around for 165 million years, it is thought that only a tiny percentage of them have been found. This is because, for an animal to become fossilised, it has to become buried pretty quickly before its bones are scattered by scavengers or before its body just decays naturally.

If we didn’t have the fossil record, we probably wouldn’t even be able to tell if anything before humans ever existed. Roughly 700-800 species of dinosaur have been discovered so far. Who knows? There might even be a dinosaur fossil buried in your back garden!

Fossilised dinosaur eggs

These are the fossilised eggs of a Rhabdodon dinosaur. All dinosaurs, like birds today, laid eggs. We think these fossils look a bit like the Biomes at the Eden Project!

World-famous fossil hunter – in Dorset!

Mary Anning, an amateur paleontologist, lived in Dorset in the 1800's and found her first dinosaur fossil when she was just 12 years old. She is known to have discovered the marine reptile, the ichthyosaur, and the nearly intact skeleton of a massive plesiosaur. She made scientific history in her discoveries, changing the way people thought about the world by discovering that some dinosaurs also lived under water as well as on land.

The stretch of the Dorset and East Devon coast where Mary Anning famously made her fossil discoveries is so scientifically important that it is now a World Heritage Site. Known as the Jurassic Coast, it is open to the public, allowing them to find their very own fossils too. It’s a coast rich with findings, from ancient fish to prehistoric poo!

Find out more about visiting on the Jurassic Coast website

Fossilised dinosaur poo

From fossilised dinosaur poo like this, scientists can find out what dinosaurs ate and how much. The scientific name for fossilised dinosaur poos is ‘coprolites’. In Greek ‘kopros’ means ‘dung’ and ‘lithos’ means ‘stone’.

Fossil hunting tips

  1. Beaches are often good places to find fossils because the sea constantly erodes things away.
  2. Fossils can be hard to spot so be extra patient and keep your eyes peeled when trying to find them! You never know where one might be.
  3. A toothbrush is always handy when looking for fossils. If you see a fossil buried in the sand lightly brush away at the edges of the fossil to uncover the remains.
  4. Use the fossil finder on the Jurassic Coast website to help you identify your fossil finds.

Keeping safe while fossil hunting

  1. Make sure you keep an eye on the sea and try to go hunting when the tide is out so you don’t get cut off.
  2. Be aware of cliffs or rocks that might fall from above and never dig into the cliff itself.
  3. Make sure somebody knows where you are at all times so you can get help if you need to.

Dinosaur footprint

This is a footprint of an unidentified small late Jurassic or early Cretaceous theropod found in Sussex.

All the fossils pictured on this page can be seen in the Dig Deeper exhibition at the Eden Project's Dinosaurs Unleashed event.

If you find any fossils then let us know in the comments section below. We’d love to hear about them!

Dinosaurs Unleashed at Eden Project, 21 July – 16 Sept 2014, Become an explorer, enter the Crater of the Tyrant King, find the escaped dinosaur, and much more! Click to find out more

Dinosaurs, Education, Science
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Meet the dinosaurs – and their friends and relations

August 8, 2014
Author: Emily Ould

Discover a lost world of dinosaurs at the Eden Project this summer. Get ready by reading our dino-themed Blog articles!

Dinosaurs and their friends and relations, who lived from around 230 to 65 million years ago, came in all shapes and sizes. Some had feathers, others had fur, and a handful even lived in the sea. Not all were as ferocious as the Tyrannosaurus rex; some were tiny mammals which ate slugs and snails and looked just like a badger. Read on to discover the differences between them, see which was the fastest, the brightest, the heaviest – and even who ate who!


Tyrannosaurus rex

Drawing of t-rex to scale

The fact that Tyrannosaurus rex means ‘tyrant king’ says it all. This lethal killer had the most powerful bite of any land animal ever, with its jaws opening 1.5 metres to expose teeth the size of bananas that could tear flesh and crush bone. However, while the T. rex was able to run 18mph in a straight line, this dinosaur wasn’t very good at turning around.


Drawing of diplodocus to scale

The Diplodocus measured the length of three buses! With eyes on either side of its head to watch out for predators, this dinosaur could live for up to 80 years. A true herbivore, it ate nothing but leafy greens. However, it’s thought that the creature would sometimes swallow stones to help digest all that bulky vegetation.



The Stegosaurus probably wasn’t the brightest of dinosaurs, as it had a brain the size of a tangerine in a body the size of a bus. This slow-moving creature was in fact a herbivore, eating plants with small, flat teeth. However, when attacked, the stegosaurus would use its four-spiked tail to warn off predators.


Drawing of iguanodon to scale

You’d most likely have found this stocky-looking Iguanodon foraging in the greenery, for it ate mostly trees and shrubs, grinding them up with its specialised back teeth. The dinosaur’s five-fingered hands were thought have been helpful for grasping food – just like we can! The large spike on each thumb would also have been useful for defending itself from predators.



The Triceratops is believed to be one of the last ever dinosaurs to become extinct. It probably spent much of its life alone. Weighing as much as an average car, it had an enormous head measuring a third of its body size! It walked on four powerful legs to help carry this heavy build. Amazing fact: the average Triceratops, a hungry herbivore, would have gone through 800 teeth over its lifetime.


Drawing of deinonychus to scale

The Deinonychus is famous for its ‘terrible claw’, a talon on each toe used to attack and pin down prey. This agile scavenger and hunter also had very keen eyesight and sported some 70 curved teeth that could bite through bone! It’s thought that the dinosaur moved in packs to capture prey.

Other reptiles, mammals and birds


Drawing of an ichthyosaur to scale

This marine reptile is thought to have evolved from an earlier land reptile. The Ichthyosaur is believed to have been warm-blooded, to breathe oxygen, and to give birth to live young – so, much more like a whale than a fish. The carnivore ate things like squid and fish.


Drawing of plesiosaur to scale

The Plesiosaur lived underwater and weighed up to 12 tonnes. With a diet of snails, crabs, squid and other small sea animals, it’s thought that this dinosaur swallowed pebbles to help digest its food. This marine reptile gave birth to its offspring whilst swimming! A Plesiosaur fossil unearthed in Dorset, UK, in 2009 is the largest ever found.


Drawing of didelphodon to scale

This ancient mammal was very like a badger. The Didelphodon burrowed underground during the day, sneaking out at night to track down things like snails and insects. Its powerful jaws and huge bulbous teeth were designed to crush its prey, which is thought to have also included young hatchlings.


Drawing of Quetzalcoatlus to scale

The Quetzalcoatlus had an enormous wingspan – nearly as long as a bus! It’s not known if this pterosaur could fly, but fossils suggest it was the largest flying animal ever to have lived. While it’s thought to have been a glider, it also moved around on all four legs – which is how it stalked prey. This tended to be fish and even small dinosaurs. The creature surprisingly had no feathers like birds today, but fur!

Dinosaurs Unleashed at Eden Project, 21 July – 16 Sept 2014, Become an explorer, enter the Crater of the Tyrant King, find the escaped dinosaur, and much more! Click to find out more


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