A dinosaur with fossilized skin in Canada

In the heart of the Badlands of Alberta, Canada, Dinosaur Provincial Park is home to one of the richest collections of dinosaur fossils dating from the late Cretaceous (75 to 77 million years ago), with nearly sixty different species identified. . Discovering a new skeleton there is therefore not surprising! But this new piece, which is not yet fully cleared, could prove to be exceptional.

Beak of a duck

It was discovered in 2021, during a reconnaissance campaign: a member of Brian Pickles’ team from the University of Reading noticed a piece of skeleton outcropping a hill. Appeared a large part of the tail and the right hind leg of a hadrosaur dinosaur. Also called “duck-billed dinosaurs”, these animals were widespread in North America, Europe and Asia. Quadrupeds and herbivores, they are characterized by the shape of their head which resembles that of modern ducks. Despite their vegetarian diet, some hadrosaurs were equipped with hundreds of teeth capable of shredding food before swallowing it. Joined, in 2022, by a team from the Royal Tyrrell Museum, the paleontologists undertook the extraction of the fossil, the orientation of which suggests that the entire skeleton could be preserved in the rock. This work could take several months or even years given the difficulty of excavating in this region in winter. It is only once the fossil is cleared and a skull has been discovered that it will be possible to specify the species of hadrosaur to which it belongs.

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