Regaliceratops

Name: Regaliceratops ‭(‬Royal horned face‭)‬.
Phonetic: Re-gal-e-seh-rah-tops.
Named By: Caleb M.‭ ‬Brown‭ & ‬Donald M.‭ ‬Henderson‭ ‬-‭ ‬2015.
Classification: Chordata,‭ ‬Reptilia,‭ ‬Dinosauria,‭ ‬Ornithischia,‭ ‬Ceratopsidae,‭ ‬Chasmosaurinae,‭ ‬Triceratopsini.
Species: R.‭ ‬peterhewsi‭ (‬type‭)‬.
Diet: Herbivore.
Size: Roughly about‭ ‬5‭ ‬meters long.
Known locations: Canada,‭ ‬Alberta‭ ‬-‭ ‬St Mary River Formation.
Time period: Middle Maastrichtian of the Cretaceous.
Fossil representation: Almost complete three dimensionally preserved skull with some slight distortion from compression.

       Officially named and described in‭ ‬2015‭ ‬from a single skull,‭ ‬Regaliceratops has already gone down as a particularly interesting ceratopsian dinosaur.‭ ‬The larger ceratopsians of the late cretaceous are usually divided into centrosaurines and chasmosauines,‭ ‬the former having large nasal horns and reduced frills,‭ ‬while the latter usually have reduced nasal horns and enlarged neck frills.‭ ‬Regaliceratops is a definite chasmosaurine ceratopsian,‭ ‬and one that lived after all the centrosaurines seem to have mostly disappeared from North America.‭ ‬Despite this,‭ ‬Regaliceratops still possessed an enlarged nasal horn,‭ ‬a feature that is usually very small in other chasmosaurine genera.‭
       The horns and neck frills on ceratopsian dinosaurs were primarily for display‭ (‬and not defence like they were popularly perceived to be for the first hundred years of their study‭)‬.‭ ‬By having a differently shaped frill and horns,‭ ‬multiple genera and species of ceratopsian dinosaurs could co-exist at the same time as one another without confusing members of other species for their own.‭ ‬When the centrosaurine and chasmosaurine ceratopsians were both present on the landscape,‭ ‬it made sense for one group to mainly develop horns and the other the neck frill.‭ ‬After the centrosaurines disappeared however,‭ ‬this led something of a display void,‭ ‬so it seems that Regaliceratops,‭ ‬and possibly other chasmosaurine genera began to exploit this gap and develop both their horns and their frill to form even more highly ornate designs.
       Regaliceratops means‭ ‘‬regal horned face‭’ ‬in reference to the way the edge of the frill resembles a crown.‭ ‬The type species name is in honour of Peter Hews,‭ ‬the geologist who first found the holotype skull alongside the Oldman‭ ‬River in‭ ‬2005.‭ ‬At the time of the description however,‭ ‬the holotype skull was nicknamed‭ ‘‬Hellboy‭’ ‬after the comic book character who has two stubby horns growing out from his forehead.
       As well as being a Chasmosaurine ceratopsian,‭ ‬Regaliceratops has also been placed within the sub-family Triceratopsini.‭ ‬In the original description Regaliceratops was also noted as being similar to the genera Anchiceratops and Triceratops.‭

Further reading
-‭ ‬A New Horned Dinosaur Reveals Convergent Evolution in Cranial Ornamentation in Ceratopsidae.‭ ‬-‭ ‬Current Biology‭ ‬-‭ ‬Caleb M.‭ ‬Brown‭ & ‬Donald M.‭ ‬Henderson‭ ‬-‭ ‬2015.



----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Random favourites