Nodosaur Dinosaur ‘Mummy’ Unveiled With Skin And Guts Intact in Canada
A strangely shaped stone was discovered in 2011 at the Millenium Mine in northern Alberta by a heavy equipment company
Michael Greshko reveals to National Geographic that his boss quickly realized that they had something unique. He stopped looking closely and confused about the things that had strange shapes.
A thin fossilized skin a kind of ankylosaur, had recently been removed from an armored nodosaur. Nevertheless, it wasn’t only a fossil, it was one of the best-preserved nodasaurus species ever found.
The remains of fossil look remarkably intact, resembling a sleeping dragon.
It is likely that the 3,000-pound 18-foot long creature died on or near a river in the National Geographic, which sponsors the fossil preparation for a five-year, 7,000-hour period, then floated its bloated carcass to water before it first sank back into the muck where fossilization started.
Don Brinkman, Director of Preservation and Research at the Royal Tyrrell Museum, where the fossil is stood, told the New York Times to Craig S. Smith that “it’s basically a dinosaur mummy– it’s really extraordinary.”
The exceptional preservation of its armored plates and certain preserved proportions allow paleontologists to understand the size and form of the keratin defenses of the creature
Donald Henderson, the curator of dinosaurs at the Tyrrell Museum, says to Greshko: “I’ve been calling this Rosetta Stone for armor.”
The dino has 110 million years and is the oldest ever found in Alberta, as Matt Rehbein says at CNN. It is also a separate genus of nodosaur type. But at the microscopic level, reports Greshko the most thrilling thing can be.
The researchers have found tiny bits of red pigment which can help them to rebuild the color of the dinosaur — a feature that might have helped to attract fellows.
Jakob Vinther, an animal coloring expert from Bristol University who studied fossilizing tells Greshko that “this armor was clearly providing protection, but those elaborate horns on his front body would have been almost like a billboard.”
The new specimen is not the only recently revealed outstanding ankylosaur specimen. Just last week Brian Switek told Smithsonian.com that a new species was discovered by the Royal Ontario Museum, named Zuul in Montana. It also has intact armor plates and skin
Switek explains that the ankylosaur armor plates usually fall off and are often washed away or not found during decomposition.
But finding these two extraordinary samples will make it possible for researchers to determine the appearance and use of their formidable horns and armor of these animals.
As part of an exhibition that highlights the importance of teamwork between extractors and paläontologists in uncovering fossils, nodosaurus has been displayed today in the Royal Tyrrell Museum in Drumheller, Alberta.