(Newswire.net — September 4, 2017) –The Triceratops fossil, which is millions of years older than typical Ice Age fossils, was accidentally discovered at a construction site.
The rare dinosaur fossil was found by a construction crew in the town of Thornton, Colorado, during construction for a new fire and police station.
On July 31, one of the workers suspected it was a fossil and they contacted the experts from the Museum of Science and Nature (DMNS) in Denver.
By August 28, Joe Sertich, the museum’s curator of dinosaurs, confirmed, after initially clearing away some of the dirt at the site, that the fossil indeed belongs to a triceratops.
Also, construction has been halted because museum staff wants to look for any remaining bones.
According to curator Sertich, most fossil finds along the Front Range are from the Ice Age, just 10 to 12-thousand years old, but this fossil is much older, reports City of Thornton.
Sertich explained that this dinosaur has been laying here for at least 66-million years. He also added that they are ”really lucky in this case that it was recognized as fossils and they got the call.”
Triceratops is a genus of herbivorous ceratopsid dinosaur that first appeared during the late Maastrichtian stage of the late Cretaceous period, about 68 million years ago in what is now North America.
It is one of the last known non-avian dinosaur genera, and became extinct in the Cretaceous–Paleogene extinction event 66 million years ago.
The term Triceratops, which literally means “three-horned face”, is derived from the Greek.
Triceratops are estimated to have reached about 25.9 to 29.5 ft in length, and 9.5 to 9.8 ft in height, and from 13.000 to 26.000 lb in weight. They are among the largest of all land animals.
Triceratops is one of the most popular dinosaurs, because of its unique look, first of all because of the large skull, and has been featured in film, postal stamps, and many other types of media.