(ORDO NEWS) — Researchers from the University of Reading, Canada, have unearthed a well-preserved fossil on a hillside that they call the most complete dinosaur “mummy” on record.
According to Phys.org, two large fossils lie on the surface of the hill – a foot and part of a tail. They are covered in petrified skin.
Paleontologists conducted a preliminary survey and concluded that only a small part of what they called the most complete “mummy” of a dinosaur is on the surface.
“It’s so well preserved that you can see individual scales, you can see some tendons, and it looks like the whole creature will be completely covered in petrified skin,” says Professor Brian Pickles. “This means that if we are really lucky, we will find some internal organs that might also have survived.”
According to him, the remains belong to a young hadrosaur that died between 77 and 75 million years ago. That is, he lived about 10 million years before the dinosaurs became extinct.
Hadrosaurs were large creatures with a body length of 7-8 meters. Their distinguishing feature was the mouth, which outwardly resembled a duck’s beak.
At the moment, paleontologists are preparing for a painstaking operation to lift the fossils. If they can be removed from the ground without damage, then one of the most complete and well-preserved “mummies” of dinosaurs ever discovered will fall into the hands of scientists. Studying it will give scientists a clearer idea of what exactly hadrosaurs looked like.
We add that the fossil was discovered on the territory of the Dinosaur Provincial Park in the Canadian province of Alberta.
Scientists explain the mummification of the remains simply: in their opinion, the hadrosaur could have fallen off the steep bank of the river and died when the coastal soil collapsed on top of it.
Then it was covered with river silt. As a result, a natural chamber was formed, favorable for the mummification process.
Thanks to this, the remains of an ancient creature are perfectly preserved. By the way, bones of hadrosaurs have been repeatedly found in North America. However, the remains of young specimens of this species are an extremely rare find.
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