New species shows evidence of convergent evolution
Art by Julius T. Csotonyi, courtesy of Royal Tyrrell Museum/Drumheller, Alberta
One of science’s best-understood dinosaur groups was probably much more diverse than previously thought.
A newly discovered species, Regaliceratops peterhewsi, stands out among the subfamily of horned dinosaurs known as chasmosaurines, scientists at the Royal Tyrrell Museum of Palaeontology in Drumheller, Alberta, report in the June 15 Current Biology.
R. peterhewsi, a close relative of Triceratops, lived during the Late Cretaceous epoch, around 68 million years ago. Study authors Caleb Brown and Donald Henderson estimate that R. peterhewsi was 5 meters long and weighed 1.5 metric tons. It received its regal title partly for the distinctive “crown” of plates around its head. The dinosaur’s fossil specimen, a nearly intact skull, goes by the less lofty nickname “Hellboy,” prompted by its devilishly hard