This New Dinosaur Is Like Triceratops with a Massive Kickass Crown


 Regaliceratops peterhewsi skull. Photo Courtesy of Royal Tyrrell Museum, Drumheller, Alberta. Photo by Sue Sabrowski

Regaliceratops peterhewsi skull. Photo Courtesy of Royal Tyrrell Museum, Drumheller, Alberta. Photo by Sue Sabrowski
Paleontologists based out of Alberta’s Royal Tyrrell Museum have discovered the remains of a bizarre new genus of horned dinosaur, similar to the iconic herbivore Triceratops. Dubbed Regaliceratops peterhewsi on account of its regal, crown-like frill, the animal is an unusual evolutionary mashup of two prominent ceratopsid families.


By Becky Ferreira|MOTHERBOARD

Its odd mix of features has apparently earned the animal the nickname “Hellboy.” But beyond the pure wow factor, the find also represents the first example of convergent evolution—the independent evolution of similar traits across families—ever observed in a horned dinosaur.

To put it in topical Game of Thrones terms, R. peterhewsi is descended from House Chasmosaurinae, but bears head ornaments similar to House Centrosaurinae. Where the former is usually distinguished by small nose horns and simple frills, the new species broke the mould by evolving a frill lined with ostentatious pentagonal spikes and large nasal horn—traits usually associated with centrosaurines.

read more