FROM THE EDUCATION DESK
Happy FALL everyone! My favorite time of the year! We all need to take some time out from our busy lives to enjoy the wonderful colors around us and to be thankful we live in this beautiful state, Colorado!
This dinosaur is a species of nodosaur, a type of ankylosaur. It lived during the Cretaceous period about 110 million years ago. It was found in 2011 in Alberta, Canada and the Royal Tyrrell Museum was notified. They realized that the rocks contained an armored dinosaur that was remarkably preserved. Paleontologist Dr. Caleb Brown, said,
“this nodosaur is completely covered in preserved scaly skin, yet is also preserved in 3D, retaining the original pineapple shape of the animal.” It is about 18ft. long and weighs 2,500 lbs.
The scientists think it may have been swept away by a flooded river and carried out to sea, where it eventually sank. Over millions of years on the ocean floor, minerals took the place of its armor and skin. It ended up situated back first on the muddy floor of an old seaway. This helped preserve the fossil’s front half in such extraordinary 3-D detail that the dinosaur almost looks alive.
The result is that the animal looks almost the same today as it did back in the Early Cretaceous. Mark Mitchell worked on the fossil more than 7,000 hours over six years. It has been named in his honor because his work helped uncover new insights into the structure and life of armored dinosaurs. This pristine fossil, identified as a new species and genus of the plant eating armored nodosaur represents the best preserved armored dinosaur ever found, and one of the best dinosaur specimens in the world. MIT, Newcastle University and the Royal Tyrrell Museum all worked on the fossil as a team effort.