The specimen is identified as the partial cranium of a nodosaurid ankylosaur (Ornithischia: Thyreophora) on the basis of the presence of bone which is fused to the dorsal surface of the skull and has secondarily closed the upper temporal fenestrae. The only unequivocally nodosaurid material recovered from the Isle of Wight to date comes from Wealden facies, and has been referred to the genus Polacanthus; it is considered highly probable that this new skull is referable to the same genus. Despite having undergone abrasion, through post-emergence water-rolling, the skull and cranial walls have proved to be relatively informative of the general anatomy of the braincase and the neural and vascular anatomy of this part of the head. The anatomy of the braincase of most ankylosaurs (with the notable exception of the juvenile specimens of the ankylosaurid Pinacosaurus) is surprisingly poorly known, despite the relative abundance of cranial material in North American and Asian collections.
The cranial neural and vascular anatomy is well shown in this specimen and enables the first detailed description of nodosaurid endocranial structures. The general form of the brain can be outlined from the structure of the endocast and the principal lobes can be identified; the majority of the cranial nerves have been identified, and a significant component of the associated vascular system is also visible. In most respects the endocast shows a neural anatomy which is common to that known in most dinosaurs. When compared to their nearest relatives, the ankylosaurid ankylosaurs (Euoplocephalus), the nodosaurid endocranial cast shows a more pronounced cerebral flexure, a forebrain which is broader and more expanded dorsally, and a more prominent cerebellum (although there is no evidence for a floccular lobe); there are minor differences in the arrangement of the cranial nerves, and the dorsal portions of the vascular system are better shown.
Because of erosion, the olfactory lobes of this specimen of cf. Polacanthus are not preserved, and cannot be compared to those of ankylosaurid ankylosaurs; the latter are unusual in the strong separation of the lobes (reflected in the divergent olfactory stalks); this feature may be associated with the very complex passages within the nasal region of the skull, which are lacking in the nodosaurids described to date.