Name: Hypselospinus fittoni
Meaning: The name Hypselospinus means ‘high thorn’, a reference to long spines on some of the dinosaur’s back vertebrae, and fittoni is in honor of 19th century Irish palaeontologist William Henry Fitton.
Age: Cretaceous, around 140 million years ago.
Where in the world?: Southeast England.
Size: Nearly 20 feet long.
How much of the dinosaur’s body is known?: A partial skeleton including most of the spine, forelimbs, hind limbs, and lower jaw, lacking the skull.
Claim to fame: Hypselospinus was a forgotten dinosaur. The British palaeontologist Richard Lydekker described it in 1889 under the name Iguanodon fittoni – thinking it was a new species of that famous herbivore – on the basis of a few bones, but it wasn’t until 2010 that palaeontologist David Norman recognized it as a new genus of dinosaur. This year Norman reviewed the history and known material of Hypselospinus, piecing together a new reconstruction of the high-spined dinosaur from long-forgotten bones.
Norman, D. 2014. On the history, osteology, and systematic position of the Wealden (Hastings group) dinosaur Hypselospinus fittoni (Iguanodontia: Styracosterna). Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society. doi: 10.1111/zoj.12193