This 110 million-year-old, armored plant-eater is the best-preserved fossil of its kind ever found. This discovery is so rare since there are usually only bones and teeth left, with no soft tissue.
“It could have been walking here a couple of weeks ago,” said a paleontologist of the University of Bristol in the United Kingdom. “I’ve never seen anything like this.”
Every time when experts come across the fossilized remains of Dinosaurs, which is a diverse group of reptiles that first appeared during the Triassic, meticulous work needs to be done before that fossil can be presented in a museum in a recognizable way.
This fossilized dinosaur is one of the most incredible, fascinating discoveries made in the last couple of centuries, and it is believed to be around 11 million years old.It was recently unveiled at Canada’s Royal Tyrell Museum of Paleontology.
This dinosaur fossil is incredibly well-preserved, it looks like a massive statue.
The fossilized remains has left experts baffled. They belong to the Nodosaurus.
Nodosaurus, meaning “knobbed lizard”, was a genus of herbivorous ankylosaurian dinosaur from the Late Cretaceous. It had four short legs, five-toed feet, a short neck, and a long clubless tail. His head was narrow, with a pointed snout, powerful jaws, and small teeth.
This group of heavy herbivores, which walked on four legs, likely resembled a cross between a lizard and a lion – but covered in scales.
The incredibly well-preserved fossilized remains of this herbivore, which was characterized by heavy armor, were found in western Canada in 2011 but only recently has it been presented to the public.
So how come it is so well-preserved?
As the Washington Post notes, the reason this particular dinosaur was so well preserved is likely due to a stroke of good luck. Researchers believe that the dinosaur was standing on a river’s edge, perhaps having a drink of water, when a flood swept it downriver. It is supposed that the land creature floated out to the sea, which the mine where it was found once was, where it sank to the bottom. There, minerals quickly “infiltrated the skin and armor and cradled its back, ensuring that the dead nodosaur would keep its true-to-life form as eons’ worth of rock piled atop it.”
The discovery of its remains were made by accident.
While working at a Fort McMurray mine in the province of Alberta in 2011, a heavy machinery operator named Shawn Funk probably never imagined that day that was about to find a “dragon,” as this type of ankylosaurus is called by its appearance. Funk was digging in Alberta’s Millennium Mine with a mechanical backhoe, when he hit “something much harder than the surrounding rock.”
“It was definitely nothing we had seen before,” Funk told the National Geographic magazine.
“These guys were like four-footed tanks,”– a dinosaur tracker Ray Stanford told The Washington Post in 2012.