Photo: David Bonadonna/National Geographic
Way back in 2011, Shawn Funk was digging in Alberta’s Millennium Mine, when he hit “something much harder than the surrounding rock.” And upon closer inspection he discovered that it was actually a dinosaur fossil — but not like other fossils discovered. This fossil was almost completely intact.
Fast forward to today that this extremely well preserved fossil that looks like a statue will be unveiled at Canada’s Royal Tyrrell Museum of Paleontology.
The fossil is said to the 110 million-year-old remains of a Nodosaur, a dinosaur that was around 18 feet long on average and weighed up to 3,000 pounds. The dinosaur also had 20-inch-long spikes that came out of its shoulders for protection.
Researchers believe that this dinosaur was swept out by a flooded river into the open sea where it drowned. And because of its undersea burial it was preserved in perfect and amazing detail.
Michael Greshko of the National Geographic wrote that this sort of find is a “rare as winning the lottery.”
‘The more I look at it, the more mind-boggling it becomes,” Greshko adds. “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, who is a postdoctoral researcher at the museum, also added this:
“We don’t just have a skeleton. We have a dinosaur as it would have been.”
So head on over to Canada if you want to see this in person.