INSOLE, A. N. and HUTT, S. 1994. Palaeoecology of the dinosaurs of the Wessex Formation (Wealden Group, Early Cretaceous), Isle of Wight, southern England. Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society, 112, 135-150.
with alterations based on recent finds
During the Barremian age of the Early Cretaceous, the Isle of Wight was very different to the way it is now. The temperature was higher, from hot to very warm, and was semi-arid. The dinosaurs prospered in equable humid periods, with low climatic variability, but were constantly living in the area. There was spasmodic rainfall, nearly 1200 mm per year, although this would have been in the uplands, but the Wessex Basin was dryer than the neighbouring Weald Basin, which covers what is now Sussex and South-East England. The low-lying lands would have experienced droughts lasting up to four months, during which forest fires are known to have occured, but there would also be occasonal rainstorms, and flash flooding would happen frequently.
Iguanodon and Mantellisaurus were certainly living in the region, as both body and trace fossils assigned to these genera have been found there. Iguanodon and Mantellisaurus would have fed on the leaves of trees, while Hypsilophodon and Valdosaurus would have been restricted to browsing on ferns and cycads, although there is the possibility that they may have eaten plant debris pulled down by Iguanodon. It has also bee suggested that Hypsilophodon may have been omnivorous, occasionally ‘snacking’ on small lizards and mammals.
The ornithopods were clearly the dominant aspect of the ecology of the Isle of Wight during the Barremian, evidence including the large number of Iguanodon tracks at Hanover Point and the 100 Hypsilophodon already extracted from the Hypsilophodon beds near the upper boundary of the Wessex Formation.
However, The relative abundance of Iguanodon may be attributable to diagenetic bias. As plant debris beds, the strata that contain Iguanodon and Mantellisaurus remains, are the most common of the Wessex Formation, it may be that Iguanodon isn’t as common as is believed, just more regularly preserved.