The “centrepiece” of a new Canadian prehistoric exhibit is the “best preserved armoured dinosaur ever found,” according to the Alberta museum that has put the fossil on display.
The “New Grounds for Discovery” exhibit at the Royal Tyrrell Museum is showcasing fossils that have been found through excavation and other industrial work.
The main attraction is a fossil from a new species of armoured dinosaur (known as nodosaur) discovered at the Suncor Millenium Mine near Fort McMurray in 2011, the museum said in a blog post about the exhibit.
At approximately 112 million years old, it is the oldest known dinosaur ever found in Alberta.
According to the museum, the fossil was found by a Suncor employee who “spotted something unusual” while excavating the mine.
“Little did he know that this would turn out to be one of the most significant dinosaur discoveries in the world.”
Scientists found that a significant amount of the dinosaur fossil’s skin and its “armour, complete from the snout to hips” was intact.
The museum said it is so well-preserved that most of the skeleton is “covered up” due to the significant amount of fossilized skin.
Officials say it took more than 7,000 hours to prepare the fossil for research and display.
#Repost from @natgeo. Photo by @RobertClarkPhoto. Some 110 million years ago, this armored plant-eater lumbered through what is now western Canada, until a flooded river swept it into open sea. The dinosaur's undersea burial preserved its armor in exquisite detail. It's skull still bears tile-like plates and a gray patina of fossilized skins. Armored dinosaurs’ trademark plates usually scattered early in decay, a fate that didn’t befall this nodosaur. The remarkably preserved armor will deepen scientists’ understanding of what nodosaurs looked like and how they moved. Check out my feed for more images. Photographed @RoyalTyrrell in Drumheller, Alberta.