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New Dinosaur Fossil So Well-Preserved It Looks Like a Statue

Does this discovery bring us one step closer to a real-life Jurassic Park?  On Friday, scientists unveiled a newly discovered fossilized dinosaur that is so well-preserved, you would think it’s an actual statue instead of a real fossil.

Before becoming the models and structures that we get to see inside of museums, dinosaur fossils look as if they are your basic, every day rocks.  Nothing spectacular or recognizable but, that’s where the amazing work of Paleontologists comes into play.  This sample, however, was unveiled in Canada’s Royal Tyrrell Museum of Paleontology and is causing quite a stir.

Perhaps even more shocking than the nearly perfectly preserved dino is the story of its discovery which is featured in the June issue of National Geographic magazine.

On March 21, 2011, heavy equipment operator Shawn Funk was digging in Alberta’s Millennium Mine when he hit “something much harder than the surrounding rock.” Little did he know, he had essentially just uncovered an ancient dragon!  After noticing the “rock” he hit was unlike anything he had ever seen before, he called for his supervisor who suggested they stop working and call someone else to get their discovery checked out.

It’s a good thing he did because, what Funk actually found was a 2,500-pound dinosaur fossil, belonging to a species called a nodosaur.  Specifically, it was a snout-to-hips preservation of the nodosaur, which, according to Smithsonian is, a “member of the heavily-armored ankylosaur subgroup,” that roamed during the Cretaceous Period.  Below is a photo of what the dinosaur is believed to have looked like:

New Dinosaur Fossil So Well-Preserved It Looks Like a Statue

Crazy, right?  Can you imagine finding a preserved one of those guys buried in your backyard?  According to a news release, the particular fossil which Funk found was of an 18-foot long beast which is believed to have weighed around 3,000 pounds!

As Michael Greshko wrote for National Geographic, such level of preservation “is a rare as winning the lottery.” He continued:

“The more I look at it, the more mind-boggling it becomes. Fossilized remnants of skin still cover the bumpy armor plates dotting the animal’s skull. Its right forefoot lies by its side, its five digits splayed upward. I can count the scales on its sole. Caleb Brown, a postdoctoral researcher at the museum, grins at my astonishment. “We don’t just have a skeleton.  We have a dinosaur as it would have been.”

This is unlike anything anyone has ever seen before!  Check out the photos below and, also, a video from National Geographic!  We wonder if this guy will make an appearance in the upcoming Jurassic World 2 film?  What do you think of this dino discovery?




Source: Washington Post

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