Scientists and dinosaur fans would love to know what dinosaurs looked like in real life, but so far they’ve had little more than fossilized bones and their imaginations to go on. But a recent discovery is giving us an incredible new perspective on these prehistoric beasts.
The Royal Tyrrell Museum in Canada has revealed some stunning images of its newest addition, an ancient creature called Borealopelta. This 110-million-year-old animal is so well preserved that scientists believe they can tell what colors it was when it walked the Earth.
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#Repost from @natgeo. Photo by @RobertClarkPhoto. Some 110 million years ago, this armored plant-eater lumbered through what is now western Canada, until a flooded river swept it into open sea. The dinosaur's undersea burial preserved its armor in exquisite detail. It's skull still bears tile-like plates and a gray patina of fossilized skins. Armored dinosaurs’ trademark plates usually scattered early in decay, a fate that didn’t befall this nodosaur. The remarkably preserved armor will deepen scientists’ understanding of what nodosaurs looked like and how they moved. Check out my feed for more images. Photographed @RoyalTyrrell in Drumheller, Alberta.
Shawn Funk, the worker who discovered this rare find, was operating heavy digging equipment at the Millennium Mine near Fort McMurray, Alberta, in March of 2011 when he stumbled across the fossilized remains. He alerted the Royal Tyrrell Museum immediately, and the unearthing of this ancient creature began.
In the five years since the discovery, a single technician has been responsible for the slow process of freeing the dinosaur from the surrounding stone. The Borealopelta markmitchelli now carries the name of that technician, Mark Mitchell.
This gorgeously preserved creature is officially on display to the public, and for dinosaur fans, the trip to Canada might be worth it if only to see those tiny scales just below its eyes in person.
There’s more information about the find in The Atlantic, which delves into the details of the dinosaur’s liberation from the earth, its likely history, and some fascinating dino facts. National Geographic also posted a beautiful virtual tour of the exhibit, just in case a trip to Canada is too far.
H/T The Atlantic