Dinosaur fossils are always exciting discoveries, but stumbling upon a dinosaur body with its skin and innards still intact is virtually unheard of. Until now.
Canadian miners accidentally unearthed the well-preserved remains of a nodosaur at a site nearby Fort McMurray, Canada. The 110-million-year-old nodosaur in question, an armored dinosaur similar to the more well-known anklyosaurus, was so remarkably intact that its skin, complete with bony plates, was not only visible but was maintained so well that scientists have been able to determine its skin color with almost certain accuracy (it was reddish brown if you were wondering).
Not only its skin, but even its insides were preserved. Right down to the contents of its stomach (fern leaves, if you were wondering again). Nodosaurs have been determined to weigh in at 3,000 pounds. The mummified nodosaur’s weight was very close to that, weighing in at 2,500 pounds alone.
A researcher at the Royal Tyrell Museum of Paleontology, Caleb Brown, has called it the “Mona Lisa of dinosaurs”.
“It will go down in science history as one of the most beautiful and best preserved dinosaur specimens.” Brown said.
While it may seem like a totally new discovery, the dinosaur mummy was actually first found in 2011. It has taken over half a decade to properly research and prepare its remains for display.
It’s been a well-received piece of good news for dinosaur lovers who have gotten used to false finds such as an alleged mosasaurus corpse in Sakhalin among others.
But how was it so well preserved after all these millions of years? Researchers believe it’s due to a series of fortunate events. It seems the dinosaur was swept away by a flood and carried out to a larger area of water where its heavy body sank to the bottom of mineral-rich environment that helped preserve and protect it.
Not to mention the natural protection its tough exterior already provided, which created the perfect conditions for it to become the closest thing to an actual dinosaur body we’ve ever found.