New dinosaur discovered decades after bones were found

New dinosaur discovered decades after bones were found

Scientists have named the ancient reptile Brighstoneus simmondsi, which is believed to date back to the Lower Cretaceous period, about 125 million years ago. The genus Brightstoneous is named after Brighstone, an English town close to the excavation site. Symondsey is a reference to amateur collector Keith Symonds, who found copies.

The bones were originally discovered by Symonds in 1978 on the Isle of Wight, an island off the southern coast of England. The specimens were kept at the Dinosaur Island Museum in Sandown, Isle of Wight, until they were examined more than 40 years later for further study.

“It is common today, if not more common, to discover new dinosaurs in museum vaults rather than in the field,” said study author Jeremy Lockwood, a doctoral student at the Museum of Natural History and the University of Portsmouth in the US. . United kingdom.

At the time, Lockwood was researching the diversity of large, herbivorous dinosaurs, including Iguanodon and Mantellisaurus atherfieldensis, the most abundant dinosaur fossils found on the island to date.

Accidental discovery

After examining the bones more closely, Lockwood realized he was getting his hands on a new species of dinosaur.

He said that both Iguanodon and Mantellisaurus had a straight and flat nose, while Brighstoneus had a rounded nose. Lockwood added that Brighstoneus also had more teeth, which were designed for chewing.

In the Lower Cretaceous period, he said, grass and flowering plants were not widely available, so the dinosaur probably had to eat tough plants like pine needles and ferns.

Using its femur and thigh bones, scientists estimated that the dinosaur was about 26 feet (8 meters) long and weighed about 2,200 pounds (1,000 kilograms).

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Prior to this discovery, scientists identified all of the delicate bones found on the island as Mantellisaurus, while the larger bones were classified as Iguanodon.

“Bighstoneus shows that there was more diversity in the lower Cretaceous Iguanodontium than we realized,” Lockwood said.

Built differently

He noted that the Brighstoneus specimens were also 4 million years older than the bones of Mantellisaurus, so you could say they’re unlikely to be of the same species given the long time between the two.

This ancient sloth ate meat, unlike its herbivorous relatives

Matthew McCurry, curator of paleontology at the Australian Museum in Sydney and senior lecturer at the University of New South Wales, who was not involved in the study, said some bone features, such as the jaw line, are unique to Bridgestone.

The longer jaw, McCurry said, can hold 28 teeth, slightly more than any other closely related species.

Lockwood is interested in investigating whether the diversity of dinosaurs fluctuated over time or whether it remained the same over a million years.

McCurry said dinosaur bones could also reveal what the Earth looked like millions of years ago.

“Describing new types of dinosaurs is the first step in assembling what these past ecosystems looked like and learning how they changed over time,” he said.

The study, called Brighstoneus simmondsi, was published Wednesday in the Journal of Systematic Paleontology.

audit: In an earlier version of this story, Bridgestone was misspelled.

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