Retired Doctor Discovered New Species of Dinosaur with an Extremely Big Nose

A retired GP who spent months going through bins of old bones has discovered a new species of dinosaur with a vey big nose.


(Photo : Mike)

Discovery of a Big-nosed Dinosaur

Jeremy Lockwood, a PhD candidate at the University of Portsmouth, who decided to record every iguanodon bone found on the Isle of Wight eventually uncovered a specimen with a peculiar “bulbous” nasal bone while examining bones from the Natural History Museum in London and the Dinosaur Isle museum on the Isle of Wight.

Scientists have only seen two kinds of dinosaurs on the Isle of Wight for over a century – the plant-eating Iguanodon bernissartensis and the Mantellisaurus atherfieldensis, Jeremy Lockwood added. He continued ” 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.”

Lockwood started by rebuilding the skull of a specimen that had been in storage since 1978 after four years of unpacking and researching boxes of bones. He discovered many distinguishing traits that marked it unique.

The quantity of teeth was an indication. Mantellisaurus only has 23 or 24 teeth, but this one has 28. It also possessed a bulbous nose, as opposed to the straight one which other species have. These and other minor changes combined to make it clear that it was a new species.

“This discovery made it one of the happiest days of lockdown,” he added. The herbivorous dinosaur was around eight metres long and weighed 900 kg.

Also Read: Meet Spinosaurus: The First Swimming Dinosaur

Naming the Newly-Discovered Species of Dinosaur

For a research paper published in the Journal of Systematic Palaeontology, Lockwood named the new species Brighstoneus simmondsi in collaboration with Prof David Martill of the University of Portsmouth and Dr Susannah Maidment of the Natural History Museum.

Brighstoneus is named after the settlement of Brighstone on the Isle of Wight, which is near to the excavation site, and for Keith Simmonds, an amateur collector who assisted in the discovery and excavation of the species.

Finding this new species propose that there were a lot of iguanodontian dinosaurs in the UK’s Early Cretaceous than scientists believed and that a long-established agreement of assigning fossils that were discovered on the Isle of Wight to the Mantellisaurus or Iguanodon species should be considered again. 

It seems improbable that two creatures could stay the same for millions of years without changing, Lockwood remarked. 

Describing New Species of Dinosaurs 

The recent finds, according to Lockwood, who was involved in the discovery of another new species known as the “hell heron,” prove that British dinosaurs aren’t “done and dusted.” He believes humans are on the verge of a renaissance.

Lockwood wants to know whether the variety of dinosaurs changed over the span of a million years, or if it remained constant.

Dinosaur bones may also tell us a lot about the Earth’s history, according to Matthew McCurry, a  paleontology custodian at Sydney’s Australian Museum. The first step in putting together what these ancient ecosystems were like and in learning about how they evolved over time is to describe new species of dinosaurs, he added.

Journal of Systematic Palaeontology released the study named Brighstoneus simmondsi on Wednesday.

Related Article: Scientists Finally Unlock Dinosaur DNA

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