Crown-like Skull of Hellboy Dinosaur Weighs 592 Pounds

Posted on June 9, 2015

Scientists discovered a new Triceratops relative in Alberta, Canada. The dinosaur, nicknamed Hellboy, has a spectacular crown-like skull featuring multiple horns and a shield-like frill. The skull of the dinosaur weighs 592 pounds (268 kilograms).

The skull fossil was discovered about ten years ago when Peter Hews noticed some bones sticking out of a cliff. The scientists describe the horns over Hellboy's eyes as "almost comically small." The dinosaur has been named Regaliceratops peterhewsi in reference to its crown-like frill. The researchers hope to find more fossilized specimens in the cliffs along the Oldman River in southeastern Alberta, Canada.

Dr. Caleb Brown of the Royal Tyrrell Museum of Palaeontology in Alberta, Canada, says in a statement, "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. 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."

Hellboy also has features of both groups of horned dinosaurs. Chasmosaurines typically have a small horn over the nose, large horns over the eyes and a long frill. Centrosaurines have a large horn over the nose, small horns over the eyes and and a short frill.

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

A research paper on Regaliceratops peterhewsi was published here in the journal, Current Biology.

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