Meet the latest dinosaur discovery, a horned beast called Hellboy

A reconstruction of the new horned dinosaur Regaliceratops peterhewsi in the Late Cretaceous of Alberta, Canada. Image: Art by Julius T. Csotonyi. Courtesy of Royal Tyrrell Museum, Drumheller, Alberta.

A new type of horned dinosaur, a close relative of Triceratops, has been discovered in Canada.

The dinosaur has a horned display similar to a Triceratops but has a taller nose horn and two small horns above its eyes.

Researchers say they’ve taken to calling the discovery by the nickname Hellboy.

The find goes back about ten years ago when bones were found sticking out of a cliff face ago along the Oldman River in southeastern Alberta, Canada.

Scientists, describing the find in the journal Current Biology, say the bones belonged to a nearly intact skull of an unusual horned dinosaur unknown to science until now.

“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,” says Dr Caleb Brown of the Royal Tyrrell Museum of Palaeontology in Alberta, Canada.

“However, it was not until the specimen was being slowly prepared from the rocks in the laboratory that the full anatomy was uncovered, and the bizarre suite of characters revealed. Once it was prepared it was obviously a new species, and an unexpected one at that. Many horned-dinosaur researchers who visited the museum did a double take when they first saw it in the laboratory.”

Brown and study co-author Donald Henderson named the new dinosaur Regaliceratops peterhewsi, a reference to its crown-like frill and to Peter Hews, the man who first found and reported it to the museum.

“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 says.

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