Paleontologists describe a new iguanodon-like dinosaur

A group of researchers has discovered and described in new iguanodon-like dinosaur. The new species of dinosaur was identified from a jawbone fossil discovered in Spain. The dinosaur was likely a 6 to 8-meter long herbivore closely related to species found in modern-day China and Niger. The discovery represents a new styracosternan ornithopod genus and species and was described based on the right dentary of a single specimen from the early Cretaceous, early Barremian period.

The new dinosaur is called Portellsaurus sosbaynati and has two autapomorphic features and a unique combination of characteristics. It has the absence of a bulge along the ventral margin directly ventral to the base of the coronoid process and the presence of a deep oral cavity on the medial surface of the mandibular adductor fossa below the 11th-12th tooth position.

An analysis shows that the new Iberian form is more closely related to the African taxon Ouranosaurus nigeriensis than to the Iberian taxa. In particular, researchers say that it's more closely related to taxa Magnamanus soriaensis and Iguanodon galvensis than to other Early Cretaceous Iberian creatures.

Researchers on the project say that recent discoveries such as this fossil could shed new light on the knowledge of hadrosauroind evolution. The fossil was discovered at a site near Portell, Spain, located about 110 kilometers north of Castelló de la Plana in eastern Spain. The site where it was discovered is called Mas de Curolles-II, and the site was first discovered in 1998 by a geological prospecting campaign.

Outcrops studied are located around the villages of Portell, La Mata, La Cub, and Cinctorres. Geologically, the site belongs to the Mirambell Formation, and paleogeographically the area belongs to the north-western margin of the Moirella sub-basin setting within the eastern part of the Iberian Chain.