Con­struc­tion crew dis­cov­ers tricer­atops skull in Colo.

USA TODAY US Edition - - NEWS - Al­li­son Sylte KUSA-TV, Den­ver

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.

KUSA-TV

Con­struc­tion work­ers dug up bones from a tricer­atops dat­ing back 66 mil­lion years, a mu­seum cu­ra­tor says.

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