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. Jazz7

    I just encountered a mean person , had to tell him to back off , but that happens every once and a while , so it's worth.

    March 30, 2011 at 9:06 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Jazz7

    Trust is the most precious thing in a relationship , must have it other wise it goes down hill fast , tell her to do a 380 or else.

    March 30, 2011 at 9:08 pm | Report abuse |
  3. popeye

    35 Man im glad to be get'n off this boat in an hour thank goodness 28 days is awhile 2 be on the water

    March 30, 2011 at 9:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jazz7

      how long will your feet be on land ?

      March 30, 2011 at 9:15 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Jazz7

    Dont get me wrong though , you cant trust some one right off the bat they have to earn it . One way is to give that trust and if it's broken then u see who they really are. I would do it on a case by case bases myself.

    March 30, 2011 at 9:11 pm | Report abuse |
  5. popeye

    thats true thats y we have'nt tied the not yet but i know she loves me but the trust thing! wheres this mean person I want to play

    March 30, 2011 at 9:18 pm | Report abuse |
  6. popeye


    March 30, 2011 at 9:20 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Jazz7

    @ more images of mars , and would u say something to my guy he thinks I fooling around now to talking to you PLEASE say something to him on this

    March 30, 2011 at 9:23 pm | Report abuse |
  8. popeye

    I see cairo IL.

    March 30, 2011 at 9:27 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Jazz7

    What ? Cairo IL

    March 30, 2011 at 9:28 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Jazz7

    O , ok I see what your saying bout to get off the boat and see your lovely GF

    March 30, 2011 at 9:30 pm | Report abuse |
  11. popeye

    Is that at me jazz?

    March 30, 2011 at 9:31 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Jazz7

    Yes , you and i are the only ones here , wish I could knock some sense into your girlfriend and guy as well

    March 30, 2011 at 9:35 pm | Report abuse |
  13. popeye

    no im a figment of your imagenation buddha

    March 30, 2011 at 9:36 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Jazz7

    HAHAHA , and I thought no one could tell I have voices inside my head 🙂

    March 30, 2011 at 9:38 pm | Report abuse |
  15. popeye

    who's guy?

    March 30, 2011 at 9:41 pm | Report abuse |
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