A new dinosaur with an unusually large nose - found on the Isle of Wight and stored since 1978 - has been identified as a new species by the University of Portsmouth and scientists from London's Natural History Museum.

The Brighstoneus simmondsi was discovered by a retired GP, more than 40 years after the fossil was recovered from the ground.

It is thought its bulbous nose could have been used as a sexual signal to attract females, or as a warning to scare away male opponents.

Jeremy Lockwood set out to prove Iguanodon - also known at the 'cattle of the Cretaceous' were not the only dinosaurs here.

Isle of Wight County Press: A recreation of the bulboous nosed dinosaur Brighstoneus simmondsi, by John Sibbick.

A recreation of the bulbous nosed dinosaur Brighstoneus simmondsi, by John Sibbick and (below) London's Natural History Museum.

Isle of Wight County Press: The Natural History Museum, London.

He went through every Iguanodon bone ever discovered on the Isle of Wight - held in the collections at the Natural History Museum and at Dinosaur Isle museum in Sandown and hit the jackpot with a nasal bone like no other.

Dr Lockwood, who is currently studying for a PhD in the School of Environment, Geography and Geosciences at the University of Portsmouth, said: "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.

"My background is medicine, so I’ve studied anatomy and was always struck by the fact that the bones we find in humans all look exactly the same.

"I’ve seen dinosaur bones that are reportedly from the same species, but I’ve been baffled as to why they would look so different.

"Last year during lockdown - after four years of going through boxes and boxes of bones - I decided to reconstruct the skull of a specimen, which had been in storage since 1978, and to my astonishment I noticed the end of its nose was bulbous."

Isle of Wight County Press: Dinosaur Isle, Sandown.Dinosaur Isle, Sandown.

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The bone also had different teeth - with ridges on both sides.

Dr Lockwood shared his findings with Professor Dave Martill, from the University of Portsmouth and Dr Susannah Maidment from the Natural History Museum who agreed it was probably a different species altogether.

He said: "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."

The fossil was originally found alongside a theropod dinosaur called Neovenator salerii - the most spectacular meat-eating dinosaur found in Britain at the time.