Hellboy (otherwise known as Regaliceratops peterhewsi) is a new species of horned dinosaur and is a close relative of the familiar Triceratops.
About 10 years ago, Peter Hews stumbled across some bones sticking out of a cliff along the Oldman River in southeastern Alberta, Canada. Now, scientists describe in the Cell Press journal Current Biology on June 4 that those bones belonged to a nearly intact skull of a very unusual horned dinosaur–a close relative of the familiar Triceratops that had been 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 likes to say, only partly in jest, that the uniqueness of this specimen was so obvious that you could tell it was a new species from 100 meters away.
Read more about Hellboy’s story here – Meet ‘Hellboy’ – A new species of horned dinosaur.
Image Above: This is an artistic life reconstruction of the new horned dinosaur Regaliceratops peterhewsi in the paleoenvironment of the Late Cretaceous of Alberta, Canada. Credit: Art by Julius T. Csotonyi. Courtesy of Royal Tyrrell Museum, Drumheller, Alberta