Scientists from the Natural History Museum and University of Portsmouth have described a brand new genus and species of dinosaur from a specimen discovered on the Isle of Wight.
Following on from a new species of ankylosaur, new species of therapod and two new species of spinosaur dinosaurs, Brighstoneus simmondsi is the newest in a bunch of latest dinosaur species described by Museum scientists in latest weeks.
The new dinosaur is an iguanodontian, a gaggle that additionally consists of the long-lasting Iguanodon and Mantellisaurus. Until now, iguanodontian materials discovered from the Wealden Group (representing a part of the Early Cretaceous interval) on the Isle of Wight has normally been known as one in every of these two dinosaurs—with extra gracile fossil bones assigned to Mantellisaurus and the bigger and extra sturdy materials assigned to Iguanodon.
However, when Dr. Jeremy Lockwood—a Ph.D. scholar on the Museum and University of Portsmouth—was inspecting the specimen, he got here throughout a number of distinctive traits that distinguished it from both of those different dinosaurs.
“For me, the number of teeth was a sign,” Dr. Lockwood says. “Mantellisaurus has 23 or 24, but this has 28. It also had a bulbous nose, whereas the other species have very straight noses. Altogether, these and other small differences made it very obviously a new species.”
The herbivorous dinosaur was about eight meters in size and weighed about 900 kg. Published within the peer-reviewed Journal of Systematic Palaeontology, Dr. Lockwood describes the species and names it Brighstoneus simmondsi: Brighstoneus after the village of Brighstone, close to to the excavation site, and simmondsi honoring Mr Keith Simmonds, who made the invention of the specimen in 1978.
The discovery of this new species suggests that there have been way more iguanodontian dinosaurs within the Early Cretaceous of the UK than beforehand thought, and that merely assigning specimens from this era to both Iguanodon or Mantellisaurus should change.
“We’re looking at six, maybe seven million years of deposits, and I think the genus lengths have been overestimated in the past,” says Dr. Lockwood. “If that’s the case on the island, we could be seeing many more new species. It seems so unlikely to just have two animals being exactly the same for millions of years without change.”
Museum scientist Dr. Susannah Maidment, a co-author of the paper, says: “The describing of this new species shows that there is clearly a greater diversity of iguanodontian dinosaurs in the Early Cretaceous of the UK than previously realized. It’s also showing that the century-old paradigm that gracile iguanodontian bones found on the island belong to Mantellisaurus and large elements belong to Iguanodon can no longer be substantiated.”
The Isle of Wight has lengthy been related to dinosaur discovery, and even yielded the essential specimens that led to Sir Richard Owen to coin the time period Dinosauria. The authors conclude that the describing of Brighstoneus simmondsi as a brand new species requires a reassessment of Isle of Wight materials:
“British dinosaurs are certainly not something that’s done and dusted at all,” says Dr. Lockwood. “I think we could be on to a bit of a renaissance.”
Jeremy A. F. Lockwood et al, A brand new hadrosauriform dinosaur from the Wessex Formation, Wealden Group (Early Cretaceous), of the Isle of Wight, southern England, Journal of Systematic Palaeontology (2021). DOI: 10.1080/14772019.2021.1978005
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New species of iguanodontian dinosaur found from Isle of Wight (2021, November 11)
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