Rare dinosaur fossil discovered in Canadian oil sand
Suncor Energy workers Michel Gratton and Shawn Funk found this rare specimen while mining oil sand in northern Canada.
March 30th, 2011
11:42 AM ET

Rare dinosaur fossil discovered in Canadian oil sand

Workers at an oil sand site in Canada have found a 110 million-year-old fossil of a dinosaur previously unknown in that area, Alberta's Royal Tyrrell Museum announced.

Employees of Suncor Energy, the parent company of Sunoco and PetroCanada, stopped work last week near Fort McMurray, Alberta, when supervisor Michel Gratton and shovel operator Shawn Funk found a large lump of dirt with an unusual texture and diamond patterns.

They sent photos to the museum near Drumheller, 400 miles south, which dispatched a scientist and a technician to check it out.

They were expecting a marine reptile fossil, but were surprised when it turned out to be an ankylosaur, a squat, four-legged, vegetarian dinosaur that was covered with bony plates and had a tail like a club.

"We've never found a dinosaur in this location," said Dr. Donald Henderson, curator of dinosaurs at the Royal Tyrrell Museum, 85 miles northeast of Calgary. "Because the area was once a sea, most finds are invertebrates such as clams and ammonites. ...

"To find an ankylosaur is totally unexpected here," he said. "Finding one of these animals anywhere is a rare occurrence."

Royal Tyrrell scientists planned to return to the site this week to oversee the fossil's removal from the ground and take it back to the museum for study, museum spokeswoman Leanna Mohan said.

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Filed under: Animals • Canada • Dinosaurs • History • Mining • Science • World
soundoff (114 Responses)
  1. Hurst

    Astounding news. 110 million years old. Hard to comprehend.

    March 30, 2011 at 11:53 am | Report abuse |
    • Noah Benzing

      There wouldn't even be a rock left to deposit a fossil on after 110 million years. Atheist fail.

      March 30, 2011 at 1:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • mental midgets

      @noah, you don't even know how fossilization works do you? Read something other than the Bible!!

      March 30, 2011 at 2:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • buddha

      You don't exist.

      March 30, 2011 at 9:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mr. Butters

      @Noah What in the world are you trying to say?

      April 1, 2011 at 5:08 pm | Report abuse |
  2. jules sand-perkins

    I'm sure it was placed there by Darwinists from New York City's Museam of Natural History.
    Read the Book of Genesis, Chapter One.

    March 30, 2011 at 11:53 am | Report abuse |
    • DJL329

      @jules sand-perkins: Why read the bible? It's a bunch of non-sense, written by primitive people with less of an education and understanding of the world and universe than even you.

      March 30, 2011 at 1:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tim

      Its the fossil of an angel. I saw that on the Simpsons so I know its true.

      March 30, 2011 at 2:11 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Waldo

    I bet it was a T Rex and it said EHH

    March 30, 2011 at 11:54 am | Report abuse |
  4. jules sand-perkins

    Yeah–T Rex is my favorite, too.
    Nevertheless, dinosaurs are a myth. "If you will turn with me to Genesis..."

    March 30, 2011 at 12:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • Colin

      Ummm Yea sorry but they were real... See there is proof... Show me proof of god.

      March 30, 2011 at 12:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tim

      Barney is my fave! He is real.

      March 30, 2011 at 2:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • stonetrails

      It was T Rex, and he said Bang a Gong!

      March 30, 2011 at 3:05 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Yes we can!

    Harry Reid?

    March 30, 2011 at 12:06 pm | Report abuse |
  6. jules sand-perkins

    You mean, you think that the fossil is Harry Reid?

    March 30, 2011 at 12:12 pm | Report abuse |
  7. jules sand-perkins


    March 30, 2011 at 12:14 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Teen Age Mutant Rodent Bung Super/Fighters

    The leader: stinky " Hopefully everyone told Frenchy we are going to help Mumar, OK gerbals grab your wallmart back packs and get to the Bungs and lets get ready for Launch" ! ....... The female: pinky "yeh gerbals mumar needs our help ! and I GOT A SCORE TO SETTLE !! with some BAD GUYS" !......

    March 30, 2011 at 12:17 pm | Report abuse |
  9. jules sand-perkins

    Psssst, Colin–I'm really on your side.

    March 30, 2011 at 12:32 pm | Report abuse |
  10. ThomasD

    And some are saying the earth is only 10 or 15 thousand years old and the earth ends on May 21st? Funny stuff.

    March 30, 2011 at 1:10 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Arthur

    That's rite

    March 30, 2011 at 1:24 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Paul

    "110 million-year-old fossil" - get real. And just how do "they" figure these dates out. I know they date the fossils by the rocks and the rocks by the fossils. There is much scientific proof of a young earth that this "millions of years" rhetoric is getting old (no pun intended). How about 4,400 years old - that would be much more realistic. When I hear "millions of years ago" I immediately think "fairy tale" and those proposing this long time period lose credibility in my mind. It's cool to find new fossils, but this evolution thing is without merit and has absolutely no scientific proof. Lets stick with facts that are provable and not evolution religion.

    March 30, 2011 at 1:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • DJL329

      It's called radio-carbon dating. The earth is 4.5 Billion years old. The universe is 4.6 billions years old. These FACTS are not in question, except maybe in the state of Kansas...

      March 30, 2011 at 2:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tim

      "To find an ankylosaur is totally unexpected here,"

      Its obvious that the flood carried him there. That uppity Noah wouldn't open the door for him. He was clearly anti-dino. I smell another class action lawsuit in the works.

      March 30, 2011 at 2:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • mental midgets

      Wow! Thank you Paul, this might be the funniest thing i've ever read! you are a comedic genius! the way you seemlessly blend complete lunacy with calls for rationality and facts which you then provide with absolutely no basis is absolutely hilarious.

      March 30, 2011 at 2:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • Reality Check

      When I think of god I think...fairytale.

      March 30, 2011 at 2:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • stonetrails

      Dearest Paul, you crack me up dude!

      March 30, 2011 at 3:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • Frank

      All of you real BIBLE THUMPERS kill me,Your'e all just afraid of dying and finding out there is nothing on the other side.

      March 30, 2011 at 4:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tong Zhi

      I agree with DJL329 , Paul, instead of barking on a wrong pole, why dont you feel the air and tells us its origin timeline? Scientist had made their theory more realistic than of imaginative faith of mankind.

      March 30, 2011 at 11:18 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Dwayne

    This is an awesome find. That would make for some interesting SAGD and other downhill animations (showing fossil in Earth crust cross section). It's been a long time since I've been to tyrell museum, and only once up to ft. Mac area.

    March 30, 2011 at 2:05 pm | Report abuse |
  14. James

    What's wrong tim. You don't know how to spell favoeite?

    March 30, 2011 at 2:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tim

      Its "favourite". It is Canada after all. Now let's get hosed, ehh.

      March 30, 2011 at 2:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • stonetrails


      March 30, 2011 at 3:09 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Mohamad

    100% Cesars Grandmother, she dried up while sukkin

    March 30, 2011 at 2:16 pm | Report abuse |
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