Scientists have discovered the skull of a new dinosaur, a
feathered relative of the Triceratops, according to new findings released in Current Biology today.
Now, we know what you may be thinking – we don’t normally cover science news. We’re writing about this paper because of a little note we saw in the acknowledgements:
C.M.B. would specifically like to highlight the ongoing and unwavering support of Lorna O’Brien. Lorna, will you marry me?
That’s right – first author Caleb M. Brown, based at the Royal Tyrrell Museum of Palaeontology in Drumheller, Alberta, proposed to his girlfriend in his paper.
It’s the first time we’ve come across such an unusual acknowledgement, but we are sure this – or something similar – has happened before. The question is: Will she say yes?? We’ve reached out to Brown, and will try to keep you posted. [Update: We’re told that she did say yes.]
A spokesperson for Cell Press, the publisher of Current Biology, said the publisher is on board with the move:
Current Biology is aware of the proposal and we are wishing the very best for the couple. I checked with several editors and this is a first for Current Biology as well as Cell Press.
Beyond that, “A New Horned Dinosaur Reveals Convergent Evolution in Cranial Ornamentation in Ceratopsidae” has some interesting findings.
Here’s more from the publisher’s press release about the paper:
“The specimen comes from a geographic region of Alberta where we have not found horned dinosaurs before, so from the onset we knew it was important,” says Dr. Caleb Brown of the Royal Tyrrell Museum of Palaeontology in Alberta, Canada. “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. 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.”
Brown likes to say, only partly in jest, that the uniqueness of this specimen was so obvious that you could tell it was a new species from 100 meters away.
What made this new horned dinosaur distinctive was the size and shape of its facial horns and the shield-like frill at the back of the skull. This new species is similar in many respects to Triceratops, except that its nose horn is taller and the two horns over its eyes are “almost comically small.” But the new dinosaur’s most distinctive feature is that frill, including what Brown describes as a halo of large, pentagonal plates radiating outward, as well as a central spike. “The combined result looks like a crown,” he says.
Hat tip: News staff at Science
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