A dinosaur species was discovered decades after its bones were unearthed, according to a new study.
Scientists named the ancient reptile Briggstonus simondsii, which is believed to date back to the early Cretaceous period, about 125 million years ago.
The genus Brightstones is named after Brightstone, an English town near the excavation site. The Simondsee is a tribute to the amateur collector Keith Simmonds, who found the specimens.
Simmonds’ bones were originally found in 1978 on the Isle of Wight, off the south coast of England. The specimens were stored at the Dinosaur Isle Museum in Sandown on the Isle of Wight until they were examined 40 years later for a separate study.
“It’s fairly common these days to discover new dinosaurs in museum basements, if not more common,” said study author Jeremy Lockwood, a doctoral student at the Natural History Museum in London and the University of Portsmouth. United Kingdom.
At the time, Lockwood was researching a diversity of large herbivorous iguanodontic dinosaurs, including Iguanodon and Mantellisaurus antherfieldensis, the most common dinosaur fossil specimens ever found on the island.
an accidental discovery
After examining the bones closely, Lockwood realized he had a new species of dinosaur in his hands.
He noted that both Iguanodon and Mantellisaurus had straight, flat noses, while Brightstones had rounded noses. Lockwood said that Brightstones had more teeth, which were designed for chewing.
In the early Cretaceous period, grasses and flowering plants weren’t widely available, so dinosaurs probably had to eat hardy plants like pine branches and ferns, he said.
Using thigh and femur bones, scientists estimated that the dinosaur was about 8 meters long and weighed about 1 ton.
Prior to this discovery, scientists designated all the fragile bones found on the island as Mantellisaurus, while the larger bones were classified as Iguanodon.
“Brightstones show that Lower Cretaceous iguanodontics had a greater diversity than we thought,” Lockwood said.
He added that the Brigstonus specimens were also 4 million years older than the Mantellisaurus bones, so it can be argued that the long period between the two is unlikely to be of the same species.
Matthew McCurry, curator of paleontology at the Australian Museum in Sydney and a senior lecturer at the University of New South Wales who was not involved in the study, said some features of the bones, such as the jaws, are unique to Brightstones.
McCurry noted that the long jaw was capable of holding 28 teeth, some more than any other closely related species.
Lockwood is interested in researching whether dinosaur diversity has changed over time or has remained the same over 1 million years.
McCurry said dinosaur bones could also reveal what Earth was like millions of years ago.
“Describing new species of dinosaur is the first step in linking these past ecosystems together and learning how they have changed over time,” he said.
The study, titled Brightstones simondsii, was published Wednesday in the Journal of Systematic Paleontology.
(Text translated, read in original English right here,