Unveiled in Canada, a Nodosaur Dinosaur “Mummy” with intact skin and guts

Recently, a little portion of preserved skin was taken from an armored nodosaur, a type of ankylosaur. But this was more than simply a fossil—it was among the most well-preserved nodasaurus specimens ever found.

The fossil bones have the appearance of a sleeping dragon and are remarkably lifelike.

National Geographic, which funded the fossil’s five-year, 7,000-hour preparation, states that the 3,000-pound, eighteen-foot-long beast most likely perished in or close to a river. After that, its swollen carcass floated out to sea till it sank headfirst into the muck that was the starting point for fossilization.

Don Brinkman, head of preservation and research at the Royal Tyrrell Museum, where the fossil is kept, tells Craig S. Smith of The New York Times, “It’s basically a dinosaur mummy—it really is exceptional.”

Paleontologists are finally gaining an understanding of the size and shape of the creature’s keratin defenses because to the extraordinary preservation of its armored plates and some preserved scales.

The Tyrrell Museum’s dinosaur curator, Donald Henderson, says Greshko, “I’ve been calling this one the Rosetta stone for armor.”

According to CNN’s Matt Rehbein, the dinosaur is the oldest ever discovered in Alberta, dating back 110 million years. It also denotes a newly discovered nodosaur species and genus. However, Greshko notes that the most intriguing feature might be at the tiny level.

Tiny fragments of red pigment have been found by the researchers, which may aid in their reconstruction of the dinosaur’s coloration—a characteristic that may have assisted it in attracting mates.

“Its armor was obviously protecting it, but those elaborated horns on the front of its body would have been almost like a billboard,” explains Greshko’s researcher on animal colors at the University of Bristol, Jakob Vinther.

There are other remarkable ankylosaur specimens that were just revealed in addition to the latest one. Just this week, the Royal Ontario Museum in Montana found a new species they named Zuul, according to an article by Brian Switek of Smithsonian.com. That specimen also contains a tail club and some skin and armor plates that are still in tact.

According to Switek, ankylosaur armor plates usually fall off during decomposition and are frequently washed away or lost.

However, the finding of these two remarkable examples would greatly aid scientists in understanding the appearance of these animals and their usage of their strong armor and horns.

The nodosaurus is currently on display as part of an exhibit at the Royal Tyrrell Museum in Drumheller, Alberta, which emphasizes how crucial collaboration is between paleontologists and the extractive industries in the search for fossils.

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