14 November 2016

Dinovember 2016, Day 14

Fancy frill.

Name: Regaliceratops peterhewsi
Meaning: [discoverer] Peter Hews's regal horned face
Time: Late Cretaceous, c 68 million years ago
Place: Alberta
Size: about 5 metres (16.4 feet) long and 1.5-2.5 tonnes (1.7-2.8 tons)
Type of Dinosaur: triceratopsin chasmosaurine (advanced three-horned 'long-frilled' horned dinosaur)

Named in 2015, Regaliceratops is a bit odd for being a very close cousin of the famous Triceratops. Instead of a long, relatively unadorned frill, a short nose horn, and long brow horns, Regaliceratops looks more like a member of the centrosaurine branch of horned dinosaurs, with a big nose horn and tiny brow horns, and a short frill that has large, rounded decorations around the edges. Perhaps Triceratops is part of a lineage that had some more weird members that await discovery.

My drawing of Regaliceratops is a based heavily on a Charles R Knight painting - perhaps my favourite dinosaur painting ever, actually - of a dubious genus of ceratopsian called Agathaumas. Agathaumas remains are almost certainly attributable to Triceratops as well as other dinosaurs, but Knight's highly speculative restoration of this creature is incredibly life-like. The large plated scales, the thick rhinoceros-like neck folds, and the overall presentation of the dinosaur make it seem as though the artist painted it at an easel set up in a Late Cretaceous meadow. Although the restoration was largely speculation, what we know now about horned dinosaur skin makes it seem pretty reasonable. I was struck by the surprising resemblance of the real Regaliceratops when it was announced to Knight's semi-fictitious Agathaumas, and wanted to pay homage to one of the great palaeoart renderings in this Dinovember entry.

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