An accidental discovery
After closely examining the bones, Lockwood realized he had a new species of dinosaur on his hands.
Both the Iguanodon and Mantellisaurus had a straight, flat nose while the Brighstoneus had a rounded one, 그는 말했다. Brighstoneus also had more teeth, which were designed for chewing, Lockwood added.
In the Lower Cretaceous period, grass and flowering plants were not widely available, so the dinosaur likely had to eat tough plants like pine needles and ferns, 그는 말했다.
Using the thigh and femur bones, scientists estimated the dinosaur was about 26 피트 (8 미터) long and weighed around 2,200 파운드 (1,000 킬로그램).
Prior to this discovery, scientists designated all delicate bones found on the island as Mantellisaurus while larger bones were categorized as Iguanodon.
“Brighstoneus shows that there was greater diversity in the Lower Cretaceous iguanodontians than we realized,” Lockwood said.
The Brighstoneus specimens were also 4 million years older than the Mantellisaurus bones, so one could argue that they are unlikely the same species due to the long length of time between the two, 그는 지적했다.
Some of the features of the bones, such as the jawline, are unique to Brighstoneus, said Matthew McCurry, curator of paleontology at Sydney’s Australian Museum and senior lecturer at the University of New South Wales, 연구에 참여하지 않은 사람.
The longer jaw was able to hold 28 teeth, a few more than any other closely related species, McCurry said.
Lockwood is interested in researching if dinosaur diversity fluctuated over time or if it stayed the same over the course of 1 million years.
Dinosaur bones can also reveal what Earth was like millions of years ago, McCurry said.
“Describing new species of dinosaurs is the first step in piecing together what these past ecosystems looked like and in learning about how they changed over time,” 그는 말했다.
The study naming Brighstoneus simmondsi was published Wednesday in the Journal of Systematic Palaeontology.