Gateway Gazette

Royal Tyrrell Museum Unveils New Dinsosaur: “Hellboy”

 

A new species of horned dinosaur – one of the most impressive discoveries since Triceratops – has been unveiled at the Royal Tyrrell Museum’s newest exhibit, Fossils in Focus.

Photograph of Peter Hews with the skull of Regaliceratops peterhewsi that he found. Courtesy of Royal Tyrrell Museum of Palaeontology, Drumheller, Alberta.
Photograph of Peter Hews with the skull of Regaliceratops peterhewsi that he found. Courtesy of Royal Tyrrell Museum of Palaeontology, Drumheller, Alberta.

Regaliceratops peterhewsi was discovered by a member of the public in southeastern Alberta in 2005.

Nicknamed “Hellboy” due to the combination of difficult excavation conditions and hardness of the rock surrounding the skull, the specimen took nearly 10 years from discovery to display. Upon discovery, it was instantly noticeable that this specimen was something that had never been seen before, especially considering its unlikely location and unique features.

“This remarkable discovery expands our knowledge and understanding of horned dinosaurs. Thanks to the work of the Royal Tyrrell Museum and our dedicated scientists, the world continues to learn more about Alberta’s rich palaeontological history.”

~ David Eggen, Minister of Culture and Tourism

The research on this specimen was completed by Royal Tyrrell Museum scientists Dr. Caleb Brown, Post-doctoral Fellow, and Dr. Donald Henderson, Curator of Dinosaurs. Their research has greatly increased the understanding of the evolution of horned dinosaurs.

“While the palaeontological community is constantly finding new dinosaurs, they are often represented by only small fragments of a skeleton, which can make it hard to imagine what they looked like. With “Hellboy,” there is a huge, nearly complete skull of a very distinct new animal, and visitors to the Museum will be the first to see it on display.”

~ Dr. Caleb Brown, Post-doctoral Fellow

The launch event coincides with the release of the research paper on the new horned dinosaur species in Current Biology, a scientific journal that publishes original research across all areas of biology.

Photograph of the skull of the new horned dinosaur Regaliceratops peterhewsi as it is being excavated from the rock. Courtesy of Royal Tyrrell Museum of Palaeontology, Drumheller, Alberta.
Photograph of the skull of the new horned dinosaur Regaliceratops peterhewsi as it is being excavated from the rock. Courtesy of Royal Tyrrell Museum of Palaeontology, Drumheller, Alberta.

Lifting skull from siteFossils in Focus

“Hellboy” has been unveiled as part of the Royal Tyrrell Museum of Palaeontology’s newest exhibit, Fossils in Focus, which provides visitors with the chance to learn about some of the most significant specimens in the Museum’s collections. Designed to be a space that evolves with our changing understanding of palaeontology, this rotating exhibit will highlight some of the most remarkable and scientifically significant fossils from Alberta. New specimens reflecting current research will be added as the science of palaeontology moves forward. The exhibit opened to the public on June 4.

The Royal Tyrrell Museum is located six kilometres northwest of Drumheller on Highway 838.  It houses one of the world’s largest displays of dinosaurs and is Canada’s only museum dedicated exclusively to the science of palaeontology.

Photograph of the rock exposures along the Oldman River in Southwestern Alberta where the skull was collected. Courtesy of Royal Tyrrell Museum of Palaeontology, Drumheller, Alberta.
Photograph of the rock exposures along the Oldman River in Southwestern Alberta where the skull was collected. Courtesy of Royal Tyrrell Museum of Palaeontology, Drumheller, Alberta.
Photograph of the frill of the new the new horned dinosaur Regaliceratops peterhewsi while in preparation. It took 18 month to slowly remove the skull from the rock, reconstruct it, and conserve it. Courtesy of Royal Tyrrell Museum of Palaeontology, Drumheller, Alberta. Photo by Darren Tanke
Photograph of the frill of the new the new horned dinosaur Regaliceratops peterhewsi while in preparation. It took 18 month to slowly remove the skull from the rock, reconstruct it, and conserve it. Courtesy of Royal Tyrrell Museum of Palaeontology, Drumheller, Alberta. Photo by Darren Tanke
Photograph of the skull of the new horned dinosaur Regaliceratops peterhewsi in anterior view. Courtesy of Royal Tyrrell Museum of Palaeontology, Drumheller, Alberta.
Photograph of the skull of the new horned dinosaur Regaliceratops peterhewsi in anterior view. Courtesy of Royal Tyrrell Museum of Palaeontology, Drumheller, Alberta.
Schematic line drawings of a Centrosaurine (Styracosaurus) and a Chasmosaurinae (Triceratops) with the new horned dinosaur Regaliceratops. Although Regaliceratops is closely related to Triceratops, the features of the horns and frill are superficially similar to centrosaurines. Courtesy of Royal Tyrrell Museum of Palaeontology, Drumheller, Alberta. Art by Caleb Brown.
Schematic line drawings of a Centrosaurine (Styracosaurus) and a Chasmosaurinae (Triceratops) with the new horned dinosaur Regaliceratops. Although Regaliceratops is closely related to Triceratops, the features of the horns and frill are superficially similar to centrosaurines. Courtesy of Royal Tyrrell Museum of Palaeontology, Drumheller, Alberta. Art by Caleb Brown.
Artistic life reconstruction of the new horned dinosaur Regaliceratops peterhewsi. Courtesy of Royal Tyrrell Museum of Palaeontology, Drumheller, Alberta. Art by Julius T. Csotonyi.
Artistic life reconstruction of the new horned dinosaur Regaliceratops peterhewsi. Courtesy of Royal Tyrrell Museum of Palaeontology, Drumheller, Alberta. Art by Julius T. Csotonyi.
Artistic life reconstruction of the new horned dinosaur Regaliceratops peterhewsi in the palaeoenvironment of the Late Cretaceous of Alberta, Canada. Courtesy of Royal Tyrrell Museum of Palaeontology, Drumheller, Alberta. Art by Julius T. Csotonyi.
Artistic life reconstruction of the new horned dinosaur Regaliceratops peterhewsi in the palaeoenvironment of the Late Cretaceous of Alberta, Canada. Courtesy of Royal Tyrrell Museum of Palaeontology, Drumheller, Alberta. Art by Julius T. Csotonyi.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply