Construction crew discovers triceratops skull in Colo.
THORNTON, COLO. A construction crew unearthed a triceratops skeleton and skull Friday.
Paleontologists from the Denver Museum of Nature and Science came to the construction site Monday to examine the skeleton.
Joe Sertich, curator of dinosaurs at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science, said the triceratops skull is one of only three found in the Front Range area.
“A lot of times, these will be plowed up, and they won’t be recognized,” Sertich said. “We’re really lucky in this case that it was recognized as fossils and we got the call.”
The bones are at least 66 million years old — something a little different from the 10,000- to 12,000-year-old fossils Sertich said are usually found in the Denver area.
Construction crews were digging deeper into the building site than they usually do to build parking lots and other structures — a depth that allowed them to get closer to an era when dinosaurs roamed the Earth.
“My heart was racing!” Sertich said. “As soon as I uncovered it and realized this was a horn of a triceratops and not just another leg bone or part of a hip, it made the site really exciting.”
Crews have stopped work in the area so scientists can expose the fossil, look for other bones and then extract them, the city of Thornton said.
When the fossil is safely removed, the hope is that one day it will be housed in an exhibit at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science.
“As soon as I got onsite, I realized it was a pretty important dinosaur find, which are pretty unusual in the Denver area,” Sertich said.
Construction workers dug up bones from a triceratops dating back 66 million years, a museum curator says.