Scientists have discovered a new horned dinosaur species, which they have nicknamed Hellboy. The scientific name of the dino is Regaliceratops peterhewsi; the name has been derived from the name of Peter Hews, the man who first came across its bones around ten years back.
Hews stumbled upon a fully intact skull of the primitive animal; the skull was peeping out of a cliff adjacent to the Oldman River in Alberta, Canada when Hews came across it.
According to Dr. Caleb Brown, this specimen was collected from a geographic area in Alberta where paleontologists have never come across horned dinosaurs before. Dr. Brown works at the Alberta-Canada based Royal Tyrrell Museum of Paleontology.
Brown informed that a number of horned-dinosaur researchers visiting the museum expressed their amazement after seeing the skull of Hellboy in the lab.
For those who are wondering why the researchers have nicknamed this weird dino as Hellboy: the name comes from a fictional comic book character that also has some weird structures in his head.
The scientists have reconstructed the remains of this horned dino; the reconstruction indicates that Hellboy had significant similarities with the Triceratops. However, unlike the Triceratops, the Hellboys come with distinctive neck frills, tiny horns on its eyes and a much taller nose horn.
To date, paleontologists have come to know about two horned dinosaur species, Chasmosaurines and Centrosaurines. The Centrosaurines got extinct millions of years before the Chasmosaurines. The Chasmosaurines, on the other hand, went extinct with all other known dinosaur species nearly 65 million years back i.e. around the end of the Cretaceous era.
Brown informed that the Hellboy is a Chasmasaurine, but unlike the majority of its kind, it boasts ornamentations similar to the Centrosaurines. According to Brown, this newly discovered dino species cannot be categorized as a Centrosaurine as analysis of the sample has proved that it belonged to an era following the death of the Centrosaurines.
This discovery is special, as this is the first time paleontologists have come across an instance of evolutionary convergence among horned dinosaurs.
Brown said that this discovery has indicated that the area might have more remains of horned dinos that paleontologists have not yet come across. Thus, according to him, researchers will keep on searching the region for more new species.