Brighstoneus (CollectA, 2023)

Brighstoneus is a genus of hadrosauriform dinosaur described in 2021, although its remains were discovered in 1978 in the Wessex Formation of the Isle of Wight. CollectA seems to have a certain predilection for the dinosaurs of this paleosite and so a couple of years later they released their own version.

The model is 14.5 cm long, so we are in the 1:55 scale range if we consider that a length of eight meters is estimated for this hadrosaur. Such small dimensions certainly help to lower the price a lot, but if it had been a little bigger it would have been perfect to pair with the Neovanator CollectA released a couple of years earlier. In fact, these two dinosaurs not only both come from the same formation, but they were literally discovered together in the same blocks of rock.

At the moment only one specimen of Brighstoneus has been described. The skeleton is not complete but there is a good part of the skull, many vertebrae with part of the rib cage, part of the pelvis and the right femur. We can already anticipate that many of the characteristics of the fossil have been transposed into the figurine.

The head is certainly the best sculpted part and also the most characteristic. The shape is rectangular and elongated, decidedly more so than Iguanodon or Mantellisaurus, and the protuberance on the nose, characteristic of this genus, stands out. Although small, the holes for the nostrils and ears are also clearly visible while the scales are much finer than the rest of the body. The beak could have been more protruding, unfortunately we only have the tip of the mandible and we do not know how the horny covering could have altered its profile. Finally, usual consideration for the cheeks, at the moment there are no certainties, but lately there is a tendency towards a lizard-like appearance, therefore with the furrow of the mouth that continues well beyond the beak. Instead in this case they follow the “mammal-like” trend with the skin continuing without interruption from maxilla to mandible.

From the neck onwards the scales become coarser even if ventrally they tend to be smaller and on the belly they are in a more regularly arranged. There are no remains of the neck, but in general it could have been a little stockier if we consider F. Bertozzo’s 2020 study on the nuchal ligament in hadrosaurs.

The body is quite stocky as it should be for a herbivore. The low ridge along the back is based on the fact that the exposed vertebrae have fairly high spinous processes, the same part that forms the sail of Ouranosaurus or Spinosaurus. Among other things, Brighstoneus could currently be the dinosaur most closely related to Ouranosaurus, even if not all research agrees with this result. On the crest there are also dermal spines not found in this genus but certainly present in other hadrosaurs.

We only have a few vertebrae of the tail, so inevitably it must be compared with those of similar genera. The length and pose are fine, in fact, luckily they didn’t make it a rigid cylinder. CollectA also did a good job with the volumes: very massive base and thinner end. To be picky, the tip should have been even thinner, but I imagine that this is an error intended to make the model more resistant when handled by children. As usual there is also the orifice of the cloaca, highlighted by a darker colour.

The limbs are based on Iguanodon. The proportions and musculature are overall correct although, perhaps to give more emphasis to the pose, the right front leg is slightly longer than the left. However, some inaccuracies regarding the hands and feet should be noted. The front paws are well sculpted, they have five toes and of these only the first three are clawed. The first has the classic claw, the next three are moderately fused together and the fifth protrudes separately. So far so good, at most the first and fifth toes could be more pointed. The problem is that the hand is pronated with the palms facing backwards. However, it is known for certain from fossilized footprints that the palms of the hands should face inwards. Accordingly the hands should be rotated ninety degrees to be in the correct position. The hind legs have three toes, all clawed, and that’s fine; however the fleshy pad is missing. This time too we know for sure of its existence thanks to fossil footprints.

Dinosaur Ridge (Colorado)

The livery is not particularly flamboyant, however it adapts well to a dry environment with a Mediterranean-like climate like the one that must have existed on the Isle of White in the Beremmian, 125 million years ago.

Let’s get to the final considerations. The Brighstoneus CollectA is very nice and contains all the main features of this dinosaur, among other things there are no other models on the market at the moment. Plus the price is absolutely affordable. So despite there being some imperfections we cannot fail to promote it, especially if you put it in the company ot the other dinosaurs of the Wessex formation.

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