Scientists are hailing this prehistoric dinosaur as the “best-preserved dinosaur on Earth.” In fact, it is so well preserved that it cannot be defined as a fossil. This magnificent ancient 18-foot-long specimen has been called a genuine “dinosaur mummy.”
On May 12, 2017, the Royal Tyrrell Museum of Palaeontology in Alberta, Canada, unveiled a dinosaur exhibit: “We dont just have a skeleton,” Caleb Brown, a researcher at the museum, told National Geographic. “We have a dinosaur as it would have been.”
Since it was unearthed, it has kept its shape; its bones arent visible and even some of its innards are still intact. Researchers were amazed at the extent of the almost unparalleled degree of preservation.
The dinosaur is so well preserved that it “might have been walking around a couple of weeks ago,” Jakob Vinther, a paleobiologist from the University of Bristol, said. “Ive never seen anything like this.”
The creature was first discovered in 2011 when an oil mine employee named Shawn Funk inadvertently discovered the specimen while at work.
While Funk was excavating that day, he was surprised to find something he had never discovered in 12 years of digging. In the afternoon, Funks excavators claw struck something different. He and his supervisor, Mike Gratton, started to wonder what these strange-colored lumps were. They questioned if these were fossilized wood or an animals ribs?
“Right away, Mike was like, We gotta get this checked out,” Funk said in a 2011 interview. “It was definitely nothing we had ever seen before.” Surprisingly, this wasnt fossilized wood or a petrified tree stump but a fossilized dinosaur.
From its finding, it took researchers six years and around 7,000 hours to conduct tests on the evidence collected and prepare the remnants to be displayed at the Royal Tyrrell Museum of Palaeontology.
A remarkably intact dinosaur glares back at us, thanks to a long-vanished sea in Alberta.
Over 100 million years ago, when this ancient prehistoric creature roamed the earth, it was a member of a newly discovered species and genus named the Nodosaur.
According to paleontologists, this bizarre fossil was the first of its kind. Usually, its rare to find a fossil that keeps its soft tissue in its true shape. Its common to see bones and teeth well preserved. So indeed, this was an amazing discovery.
It was a gigantic four-legged herbivore, and its body was protected by spiky, plated “armor.” This nodosaur originally weighed around 3,000 pounds (approx. 1,361 kg) when it was alive. The mummified nodosaur is so unimpaired that it still weighs 2,500 pounds (approx. 1,134 kg)! Truly marvelous!
When the museum put up pictures of the dinosaur on their Facebook page, one curious user commented: “What was its favorite plant to eat? Was it prone to calm then hissing and snapping like a turtle when provoked, or was its demeanor different? Can you tell if its male or female?”
Join Dr. Henderson on @CTVCalgary today at noon for insights on some of the amazing specimens in our new exhibit Grounds for Discovery.
To which Brown replied: “1) We dont know what its favorite plant food was. We do know that it would have enjoyed plants growing close to the ground, as it would not have been able to reach very high up. Hopefully, analysis of the stomach contents will allow us to determine the last plants that it ate. 2) We dont know what its demeanor was like. It would have probably been slow moving, but we are unsure if it was a gentle giant or was defensive, snapping creature. 3) We also dont know if it was male or female. OutsideRead More – Source