Mummified Dinosaur Found

A rare mummified dinosaur has been found in North Dakota:

Unlike almost every other dinosaur fossil ever found, the Edmontosaurus named Dakota, a duckbilled dinosaur unearthed in southwestern North Dakota in 2004, is covered by fossilized skin that is hard as iron. It’s among just a few mummified dinosaurs in the world, say the researchers who are slowly freeing it from a 65-million-year-old rock tomb.

“This is the closest many people will ever get to seeing what large parts of a dinosaur actually looked like, in the flesh,” said Phillip Manning, a paleontologist at Manchester University in England, a member of the international team researching Dakota.

“This is not the usual disjointed sentence or fragment of a word that the fossil records offer up as evidence of past life. This is a full chapter.”

Only four mummified dinosaurs “of any significance” have ever been found, so it’s a pretty big deal. As a kid I was always fascinated by dinosaurs. In those days I wanted to be a paleontologist, but then I realized what long, hot, grueling work excavation is. Still, I’d imagine finding something like this makes it worthwhile.

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