Triceratops fossil unearthed near Drumheller
Royal Tyrrell Museum staff spent 12 days uncovering bones of a triceratops just 30 minutes ease of the museum near Drumheller. SUPPLIED.
Published Friday, August 17, 2012 4:04PM MDT
A rare triceratops fossil has been discovered just outside Drumheller, Alta.
A former employee of the Royal Tyrrell Museum was the one who spotted the bones of the 65-million-year-old herbivore, whose name means “three-horned face” in Greek, becoming exposed through erosion.
Royal Tyrrell Museum staff spent 12 days uncovering bones just 30 minutes ease of the museum near Drumheller. Staff found an almost complete triceratops, including vertebrae and ribs. The vertebrae are over 60 centimetres tall and the ribs nearly two metres long.
The museum says the dinosaur fossil was transported in six protective casings weighing more than 2,000 kilograms.
Dr. Francois Therrien, curator of dinosaur palaeoecology at the museum said that while triceratops remains are commonly found in Saskatchewan and Manitoba, they are rarely found in Alberta’s rich fossil fields.
Until this discovery, the museum had only had fragmentary triceratops remains in its collections.
“It will be of great significance for comparative studies, to look at the animals that are found in Saskatchewan and those that are found in Manitoba versus what we have here in Alberta,” Therrein said.
“Are they the same species? Are there small differences? That’s why the Alberta specimen here is key.”
Therrien says discoveries continue to help scientists paint a picture of the creatures that roamed the Earth long before humans came along.
“That’s why we keep going back, because you never know what new fossil is going to be coming out of the rock and we don’t know everything about dinosaurs.”
Pieces of the Alberta triceratops will go on display at the museum this fall.