C.M.B. would specifically like to highlight the ongoing and unwavering support of Lorna O’Brien. Lorna, will you marry me?
We've reached out to lead author Caleb Brown of the Royal Tyrrell Museum of Palaeontology about his delightfully nerdy choice of proposal medium, and we'll update if he gets back to us. Hopefully he's busy drinking champagne somewhere. Science Magazine reports that his girlfriend has already said yes, having seen the paper before it went to print.
Current Biology was reportedly on board with the proposal, and Retraction Watch says its the first proposal of this kind that they know of. Here's to hoping it becomes a trend.
Brown's paper was worth noting even before his Easter egg was discovered: He and his colleagues report that the Triceratops relative they've discovered in Alberta shows something interesting about dinosaur evolution. The dinosaur Regaliceratops peterhewsi (nicknamed Hellboy) has a taller nose horn than similar dinosaur and horns over its eyes that the researchers call "comically small." But it also has an unusual shield-like frill at the back of its skull.
Horned dinos usually fall into two groups: Chasmosaurines have a small horn over the nose, larger horns over the eyes, and a long frill. Centrosaurines have a large horn over the nose, small horns over the eyes, and a short frill.
"This new species is a Chasmosaurine, but it has ornamentation more similar to Centrosaurines," Brown said in a statement. "It also comes from a time period following the extinction of the Centrosaurines."
That suggests that the two groups independently evolved similar features, which has never been shown before.
"This discovery also suggests that there are likely more horned dinosaurs out there that we just have not found yet, so we will also be looking for other new species," Brown said.
Once again, congrats to Brown for his team's find -- and for what's either the sweetest proposal of all time or the most brilliant PR move we've ever seen.