Conservation group hails rare dinosaur discovery by father and son in Alberta

  • Conservation group hails rare dinosaur discovery by father and son in Alberta

Conservation group hails rare dinosaur discovery by father and son in Alberta

A 12-year-old boy has discovered a dinosaur skeleton dating back around 69 million years in what paleontologists have described as an important find.

The amateur palaeontologist was out hiking with his father in a fossil-rich part of Alberta, Canada this July, when he saw bones protruding from a rock.

Excavations of the skeleton were completed on Thursday. "I was so excited that I didn't feel that excited, I was just so in shock".

"I've been aspiring to be a palaeontologist for pretty much as long as I can remember", he said, "so it's pretty awesome to finally find something real that's like big".

The aspiring paleontologist has been interested in dinosaurs since he was six, and told the BBC he often goes hiking in the Nature Conservancy of Canada's protected site in the Albertan Badlands with his father.

"I've always just been so fascinated with how their bones go from bones like ours, to solid rock".

"Fossil discoveries are rare in this geological layer", Nature Conservancy Canada said.

So Nathan made a decision to check out the place this summer.

So this summer when the boy was able to inspect the area, the report said he found the fossilized bones "poking out of the side of a hill". "My dad said he could tell by the tone in my voice that I had found something good".

Nathan Hrushkin and his father, Dion.

The bones were removed in protective jackets made of burlap and plaster and taken back to the museum lab for cleaning and research.

Nathan knows that the fossils are protected by law, so when they got home, he and his father logged in to the website for the Royal Tyrrell Museum, which is located in Alberta and devoted to the study of prehistoric life. They took photos of the fossils, noted the coordinations to their location and how they got to the spot, and emailed the museum. Leila believed deeply in the importance of maintaing the canyon's natural state and worked for many years as an interpreter, where she introduced visitors to its many unique features.

The report said Nathan agreed that before his discovery, he was probably like most kids whose favorite dinosaur is Tyrannosaurus Rex.

"Its a fossil from that area and from that time interval that will actually give us information about what was happening with dinosaurs 69 million years ago".

A conservation team has been sent to the site and, since Nathan's find, upwards of 50 additional fossils have been found in the canyon's walls.

The NCC says that all of the bones collected belong to a single specimen, a juvenile hadrosaur approximately three or four years old.

"But after my discovery, it's most definitely the Hadrosaur".

Francois Therrien is the curator of dinosaur palaeontology at the Royal Tyrell Museum of Palaeontology and says hadrosaurs were common in their time, something like deer are today.

The fossil comes from a period of time "we know very little about", Therrien said, which means Nathan's find "will help us fill this big gap in our knowledge of dinosaur evolution". When he realized how many bones were there, he assembled a whole team of scientists to help. He said it would be wonderful to finally see them, after months of work, extract something from the earth.