Dinosaurs – Polacanthus & Hypsilophodon

 Another week, two new dinosaurs! Let’s start with a medium-size, four-legged dinosaur – Polacanthus foxii! The name Polacanthus means ‘Many Thorns’ and is a reference to the many spikes he had covering his body. The foxii refers to William Fox, the man who discovered him! He was uncovered in 1865, and his original name –  before Owen decided to change it to foxii – was Polacanthus vectianus, vectianus after the Latin name the Romans gave to the Isle of Wight.

Polacanthus is known from only 3 partial skeletons, but the important parts are there! The spikes for starters! All three specimens were found on the Isle of Wight, and all three are on display in a museum there. Even through there are not many bones, Polacanthus footprints are abundant around the Island.

 Hypsilophodon, on the other hand, is known from quite a few specimens, including a spectacular complete jaw! They all come from one location on the Isle of Wight, come to be known as the ‘Hypsilophodon Bed’.  Below is a quote from Dean Lomax, a palaeontologist who has studied the bed on the Isle of Wight: “The remains represent a catastrophic burial, possibly by a flood.”* Interesting! Remember what we said, about the Wealden Flood Plain? All the evidence suggests that these dinosaurs were buried in a flood. Hold onto that thought, because we will come back to it at the end of the Dinosaurs of Britain session we are currently doing!

 Remember to ask questions, you can ask us through the website, or Blog About Britain Facebook page, or you can contact me personally at www.indianajoe.blog!

*Dean R. Lomax, Dinosaurs of the British Isles, Siri Scientific Press, 2014, page 286.