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New ‘Hellboy’ horned dinosaur is like Triceratops, only frillier

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01:03 - Source: CNN
'Hellboy' dinosaur discovered

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'Hellboy's real name is Regaliceratops peterhewsi

Has a distinctive neck frill and taller nose horn then the Triceratops

CNN —  

Move over Triceratops.

Researchers have found a new species of horned dinosaur and they’re calling him “Hellboy.”

Its formal name is Regaliceratops peterhewsi, a reference to its crown-like frill and the man who stumbled upon its bones 10 years ago.

Peter Hews saw the Hellboy’s nearly completely intact skull sticking out of a cliff along the Oldman River in Alberta, Canada, according to a paper published in the journal “Current Biology.”

“The specimen comes from a geographic region of Alberta where we have not found horned dinosaurs before, so from the onset we knew it was important,” said Dr. Caleb Brown of the Royal Tyrrell Museum of Palaeontology in Alberta, Canada in a statement.

But it was only when the bones were separated from rock in the lab that researchers realized it was a completely new species.

“Many horned-dinosaur researchers who visited the museum did a double take when they first saw it in the laboratory,” Brown said.

Researchers nicknamed the species Hellboy after the fictional comic book character because of the difficulty in separating the bones from the hard rock.

A reconstruction of Hellboy’s remains shows it was similar to the Triceratops, but has a distinctive neck frill, a taller nose horn and very small horns over its eyes.

The skull of the new horned dinosaur Regaliceratops peterhewsi in oblique view.
Courtesy of Royal Tyrrell Museum, Drumheller, Alberta. Photo by Sue Sabrowski
The skull of the new horned dinosaur Regaliceratops peterhewsi in oblique view.

There are two groups of horned dinosaurs or ceratopsids: Centrosaurines and Chasmosaurines, including the Triceratops.

New species of Chasmosaurine

Centrosaurines died out several millions years before the Chasmosaurines, which became extinct with all other dinosaurs at the end of the Cretaceous period around 65 million years ago.

“This new species is a Chasmosaurine, but it has ornamentation more similar to Centrosaurines,” Brown said. “It also comes from a time period following the extinction of the Centrosaurines.”

Researchers say the find is significant because it’s the first example of evolutionary convergence in horned dinosaurs.

“This discovery also suggests that there are likely more horned dinosaurs out there that we just have not found yet, so we will also be looking for other new species,” Brown said.

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