STATES CHRONICLE – Canadian scientists were surprised by a breathtaking discovery which left them all speechless. An oil sands mine was hiding the fossils of a dinosaur which surprised scientists with its incredible state of preservation. The creature was almost intact, and looked as if it escaped from a Steven Spielberg movie.
The perfectly preserved nodosaur
Scientists identified the creature as a nodosaur. These dinosaurs were herbivores, moved on four legs, and kept predators away with the help of their armored skin covered in spikes. This fossil is around 110 million years old, but it looks strikingly different from other dinosaur remnants. The bones are not visible, as the skin of the nodosaur encased them and preserved the creature in an almost flawless state.
This fossil measures over 18 feet and will soon exhibited at the Royal Tyrrell Museum of Paleontology from Alberta, Canada. Experts say this is the oldest specimen ever found around Alberta, as well as the armored dinosaur in the most intact state in the entire world.
The discovery was a lucky accident
The nodosaur was discovered accidentally, during a series of excavations in an oil sands mine in 2011. Scientists could immediately identify the value of this discovery, so they started the preparations for a more thorough analysis. After six years, they managed to reconstruct it and get it ready for the exhibition.
They suspect that floodwater might have taken the dinosaur and carried it away on the sea, where it sank to the bottom. There, minerals started gathering over its tank-like coat, which prevented it from decomposing and helped with its preservation. Right now, the nodosaur weighs 2,500 pounds, which is close to the weight it had while it was still alive.
The scientists from the museum want to continue the study of the nodosaur, so they started a partnership with National Geographic Society to continue the analyses. The exhibit has already opened for the public, so all who are interested can go and see the amazing fossils.
Image Source: Wikimedia Commons