Brighstoneus simmondsi, a new Iguanodontian from the Isle of Wight

Brighstoneus simmondsi, a new Iguanodontian from the Isle of Wight

The exciting news comes shortly after the the description of two new Spinosaurids from the same Isle. Just like the case of the Spinosaurids, the bones were located in a museum collection, where they were identified as belonging to an other species. Jeremy Lockwood, PhD student and lead author of the description goes as far as saying it’s a new ‘golden age’ and the start of ‘a new renaissance’ for British palaeontology.

The new dinosaur is a close relative to the famous Iguanodon and Mantellisaurus, both also found at the Isle of Wight. There are a few substanial differences between the new and two earlier discovered genera however. A more rounded nose and a longer jaw, which could hold 28 teeth, are prominent features compared to the two other Iguanodontians. Based on the thigh and femur bones, the palaeontologist estimate was 26 feet (8 meter) and weighted about 2200 pounds (1000 kilograms).


Picture: skull elements of the new dinosaur

The dinosaur is named after Brighstone, a town close to the place the bones where originally discovered. The bones found here are also about 4 million years older than the fossils of Mantellisaurus, another indication these are two different species. The fossils were found in 1978 by Keith Simmonds, as a result the species name is simmondsi.

If there is one thing to be learned from the story of this dinosaur, is that we should take a look at all old museum collections to see what treasures are hidden within their walls.