THEY roamed the earth over 130 million years ago and remain among the biggest creatures ever.
Yet mystery still surrounds the existence of the dinosaurs, with so many questions remaining unanswered.
This weekend experts from across the world are descending on the south coast to help swap theories and findings surrounding the giant creatures.
Southampton University have teamed up with Visit Isle of Wight to provide a special conference to discuss the latest research on dinosaurs.
The conference, titled Jehol- Wealden, will see the discussion of new fossils discovered in China and the Isle of Wight at the Oceanography Centre in Southampton on the first day.
Also on display will be the first fossil ever found – an Iguanodon, above – found on the island in 1825.
Among other fossils will be the polacanthus, insects, crocodiles and a range of other dinosaur fossils from museums across the UK.
Today the palaeontologists head to the Isle of Wight, where the public can join experts for their very own dinosaur-hunting experience.
Dr Gareth Dyke, senior lecturer in vertebrate palaeontology at the University of Southampton, said: “What we are trying to do is build a new research group, which is something Southampton has never really had and this conference really builds its profile.
“The Isle of Wight is one of the best places to find fossils in the world, with some over the age of 120-130 million.
“The only other areas in the world with fossils like the ones you get on the Isle of Wight can only be found in places like China.
“It also really builds the profile of the university.
“We have lots of speakers all over the world to discuss their research, where they will discuss new kinds of fossils that have been discovered on the Isle of Wight and in China.
“They will talk about how these new fossils relate to other dinosaurs and how they relate to other animals.”