Dinosaur skeletons come in all shapes and sizes. But complete skeletons are among the rarest of finds. These prehistoric creatures are so fascinating that even after millions of years of existing, scientists still study and search for their remains.
Well preserved remains of young prehistoric dinosaurs, on the other hand, are even more difficult to find. So, when a team of researchers from Alberta, Canada dug up an intact baby dinosaur skeleton, they were astounded at their discovery. But what the remains told them about both how the creature lived and how it died would be even more amazing. This prehistoric beast will amaze you.
10. Dinosaur Provincial Park
Dinosaur Provincial Park is a goldmine of fossil-related activity and has gained UNESCO World Heritage status in 1979. Over the past few decades, researchers have dug up dozens of dinosaur species from the land there. And most of them are on display at the nearby Royal Tyrrell Museum, which opened in 1985.
9. Jurassic Park Inspired
Dr. Philip Currie was one of the researchers on the 2010 excavation. He is known as one of the men who inspired Jurassic Park’s, Alan Grant. Dr. Currie works as a research associate for the Tyrrell Museum and is also a paleobiologist at the University of Alberta.
While digging away in a hillside, Dr. Currie discovered what primarily looked like a turtle shell fragment. But upon closer inspection, he realized that it was a bone from the rear of a Chasmosaur’s head! Of course, as an expert, Dr. Currie could easily tell by the ridges along the back of its skull.
8. A Herbivore
The Chasmosaurus belli dinosaur, its scientific name, was a herbivorous animal similar to the Triceratops. In fact, the Chasmosaurus came from the same family as that iconic dinosaur, a family known as Ceratopsids. Somewhat amazing, every single known Chasmosaur specimen has come from Dinosaur Provincial Park.
The one found by Dr. Currie and his team of researchers was particularly rare. While almost every previous intact specimen found had been of an adult Chasmosaur, this discovery was far too small compared to the previous specimen found.
7. Rare Baby Dinosaur
It was far smaller because it was a baby Chasmosaur! And an intact one, at that. Over the years, archaeologists had managed to find some bones from similar young dinosaurs. But, they’d never before found a near-complete baby fossil that had remained so perfectly preserved! Truly a rare find.
“The big ones just preserve better: they don’t get eaten, they don’t get destroyed by animals,” Dr. Currie told Live Science. “You always hope you’re going to find something small and that it will turn out to be a dinosaur.”