Unusual horned dino unearthed in Canada

An artistic life reconstruction of a new horned dinosaur scientists named Regaliceratops peterhewsi in the paleoenvironment of the Late Cretaceous of Alberta, Canada released on June 3, 2015. -- PHOTO: REUTERS 
An artistic life reconstruction of a new horned dinosaur scientists named Regaliceratops peterhewsi in the paleoenvironment of the Late Cretaceous of Alberta, Canada released on June 3, 2015. -- PHOTO: REUTERS 
A photograph courtesy of Royal Tyrrell Museum, Drumheller, Alberta, shows the skull of a new horned dinosaur scientists named Regaliceratops peterhewsi, in oblique view released to Reuters on June 3, 2015. Scientists had a heck of a time getting the
A photograph courtesy of Royal Tyrrell Museum, Drumheller, Alberta, shows the skull of a new horned dinosaur scientists named Regaliceratops peterhewsi, in oblique view released to Reuters on June 3, 2015. Scientists had a heck of a time getting the remarkable fossil of the dinosaur they dubbed "Hellboy" out of the hard limestone along a Canadian river bank where it was entombed for 68 million years, but the diabolic task proved gratifying. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

MIAMI (AFP) - The skull of a horned dinosaur that was previously unknown to scientists and was unearthed in Canada is actually a relative of the Triceratops, researchers this week.

The bones were found sticking out of a cliff along the Oldman River in southeastern Alberta about a decade ago.

"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," said Caleb Brown of the Royal Tyrrell Museum of Palaeontology in Alberta, Canada.

"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." The creature, named Regaliceratops peterhewsi - a reference to its crown-like frill and to Peter Hews, the man who first found and reported it to the museum - is described in the June 4 edition of the journal Current Biology.

With a shield-like frill at the back of the skull that resembles a crown, and a taller nose horn than seen on the Triceratops, the dinosaur also has two horns over its eyes that are "almost comically small", said Brown.

Brown said the dinosaur's nickname among paleontologists is "Hellboy". Researchers hope that more fossils may be found in the same area that may shed more light on the creature and its relationship to both the Triceratops and the Chasmosaurus.