Photo: University of Reading / Reproduction
Paleontologists at the University of Reading in England may have found a dinosaur mummy during an expedition in Canada. Scientists noticed an outcrop on a cliff in Dinosaur Provincial Park, which was later revealed to be Tail and Foot of Hadrosaurus.
The reptile appears to have died out between 77 and 75 million years ago. What caught the researchers’ attention was the fact that the appendages were covered with fossilized skin, indicating the possibility that the entire skeleton had preserved skin. According to scientists, if they are lucky, it will still be possible to find the preserved internal organs in dinosaur.
Hadrosaurs are herbivorous dinosaurs that lived during the Cretaceous period. The height of adult specimens can reach ten meters. However, the animal found in Canada appears to be about four meters long, which indicates that this is a small dinosaur.
To ensure mummification, the animal was likely covered 77 and 75 million years ago, shortly after its death. Now, the team will be able to study not only the animal’s appearance, thanks to the preservation of its skin, but also its growth process, as dinosaurs reach maturity early and finding juveniles becomes rare.
The researchers also hope to find a hadrosaur skull, and thus be able to classify its type. But the research process could take years. First, scientists need to remove the stone block in which the fossil is located, and then transport it to the laboratory to complete the dinosaur recovery. Work must be done carefully so as not to damage the guide.
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