Tech UPTechnologyThey discover a new species of dinosaur with unique...

They discover a new species of dinosaur with unique features

Scientists from the Natural History Museum and the University of Portsmouth have described a new genus and species of dinosaur from a specimen found on the Isle of Wight.

The new species of dinosaur features an unusually large nose, and its discovery was made possible by a 64-year-old retired English doctor who spent time locked up rummaging through boxes of hundreds of old bones. And there they found a unique nasal fossil. Its remains were originally excavated in 1978 on the Isle of Wight in the United Kingdom, but were mistaken for its more famous relative, the Iguanodon, for decades until researchers have examined it a second time.

In fact, their resemblance is familiar, but this approximately 128 million-year-old dinosaur was reconstructed with various bones, including some from the skull, spine and hips, enough for researcher Jeremy Lockwood of the University of Portsmouth, to identify a new species of dinosaur. It has been named Brighstoneus simmondsi , in honor of the nearby town of Brighstone and the discoverer of the dinosaur, Keith Simmonds.

The herbivorous dinosaur in question, would have measured about 8 meters long, would have weighed about 900 kilograms, and would have had a characteristic bulbous nose and a mouth with up to 28 teeth.

Some of the most prominent characteristics that mark Brighstoneus as a new species are found in the dinosaur’s skull , as we can see in the reconstruction made by the experts.

“To me, the number of teeth was a sign. Mantellisaurus is 23 or 24, but this one is 28. It also had a bulbous nose, while the other species have very straight noses. Taken together, these and other minor differences make is obviously a new species, “explains Lockwood.


Greater diversity than previously thought

The discovery of this new species suggests that there were many more iguanodont dinosaurs in the UK’s Early Cretaceous than previously thought.

“We’re looking at six, maybe seven million years of deposits, and I think the lengths of the genera have been overestimated in the past, ” Lockwood continues. “If that’s the case on the island, we could be seeing many more new species. It seems highly unlikely that two animals will be exactly the same for millions of years without change. “

The Isle of Wight has long been associated with the discovery of dinosaurs, and even allowed the discovery of the crucial specimens that led Sir Richard Owen to coin the term Dinosauria. The authors conclude that the description of Brighstoneus simmondsi as a new species requires a reassessment of the fossil material from the Isle of Wight.

“British dinosaurs are by no means a finished thing. I think we could be in for a little renaissance,” Lockwood concludes.

Referencia: “A new hadrosauriform dinosaur from the Wessex Formation, Wealden Group (Early Cretaceous), of the Isle of Wight, Southern England” 10 November 2021, Journal of Systematic Palaeontology. DOI:
DOI: 10.1080/14772019.2021.1978005

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