Retired doctor discovers new species of big-nosed dinosaur

The nasal bone formation of the herbivore named Brighstoneus simmondsi, is its distinguishing feature.

A retired medical doctor has identified a new species of dinosaur with a distinctively large nose. The discovery was made when Jeremy Lockwood spent his day in lockdown rummaging through boxes of ancient bones.

Unique Nasal Bone

Dr. Lockwood, 64, is pursuing a PhD at the University of Portsmouth and had tasked himself to catalogue every iguanodon bone discovered on the Isle of Wight.

While he went about sorting the bones from the collections of the Natural History Museum in London and the Dinosaur Isle museum on the Isle of Wight, he came across a specimen with a unique 'bulbous' nasal bone.

For over 100 years, we’d only seen two types of dinosaur on the Isle of Wight – the plant-eating Iguanodon bernissartensis and Mantellisaurus atherfieldensis. I was convinced that subtle differences between bones would reveal a new species, so I set out to measure, photograph and study the anatomy of each bone.

He spent four years unpacking and studying numerous boxes of bones, after which he began to reconstruct the skull of a specimen.

That was when he realized that this particular specimen, which had been in storage since 1978, had several striking features that set it apart from the others.

Best Day of Lockdown

Dr. Lockwood, a student at the school of environment, geography and geoscience said as a medical doctor, he had always been fascinated with the human anatomy and how all human bones look exactly the same. So, he was baffled to learn that dinosaur bones from the same species look different.

This discovery made it one of the happiest days of lockdown because it was a sign there really was something different about this particular dinosaur from the Isle of Wight.

Lockwood, working with other scientists, has named the new species Brighstoneus simmondsi.

Brighstoneus is named after the village of Brighstone on the Isle of Wight - close to the excavation site. The second part of the name is in honour of Keith Simmonds, an amateur collector, who was involved in finding and excavating the specimen.

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