Wednesday, 24 May 2017

Incredible! Most Well-Preserved Armored Dinosaur Was a 'Spiky Tank'

By Laura Geggel, Senior Writer | May 16, 2017 10:22am ET 

A spiky, tank-like dinosaur discovered in a Canadian mine is so well-preserved, it looks as if the fossilized creature were frozen in time for 110 million years.

Miners discovered the 18-foot-long (5.5 meters) beast — a nodosaur, a cousin of ankylosaurs, which also had body armor but didn't sport club tails — in 2011 during routine work at the Suncor Millennium Mine in Alberta.

Shawn Funk, a heavy-equipment operator, noticed the fossil because the texture and color looked different than the surrounding rock, according to National Geographic, which broke the story on Friday (May 12). Soon after, the Suncor Energy company contacted the Royal Tyrrell Museum of Palaeontology in Alberta, where the specimen has remained for the past six years, painstakingly being chiseled out, one inch at a time.

"It was a very slow reveal, but it was a very exciting one nonetheless," said Caleb Brown, a postdoctoral fellow at the museum, and a co-author of a study describing the new species, which he expects to be published in a peer-reviewed journal this summer.

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