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

    My guy , he thinks we are bonding , he said it at THE MOST POPULAR STORIES , cant win

    March 30, 2011 at 9:43 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Jazz7

    jthis is his post below

    ules sand-perkins

    Good to see that you two are still at it.

    March 30, 2011 at 9:44 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Jazz7

    If you read this I AM NOT DOING ANYTHING

    March 30, 2011 at 9:44 pm | Report abuse |
  4. popeye

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    March 30, 2011 at 9:46 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Jazz7

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    March 30, 2011 at 9:48 pm | Report abuse |
  6. popeye

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    March 30, 2011 at 9:51 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Jazz7

    let me talk to him first , then i will let u know. I'm going to bed now. If she read what u said about not getting married yet because of the trust issue , gaurented she would stop ASAP

    March 30, 2011 at 9:54 pm | Report abuse |
  8. popeye

    did you want me to tell him something

    March 30, 2011 at 9:55 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Jazz7

    Yes if you would it would prove my point that nothing is going on .

    March 30, 2011 at 9:56 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Jazz7

    I am an ARTIST at heart , I think that's why I get along with u so well , that would be all that's going on , ever

    March 30, 2011 at 9:57 pm | Report abuse |
  11. popeye

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    March 30, 2011 at 10:00 pm | Report abuse |
  12. popeye

    where do I talk to him@ and who is it

    March 30, 2011 at 10:03 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Jazz7

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    March 30, 2011 at 10:05 pm | Report abuse |
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    March 30, 2011 at 10:07 pm | Report abuse |
  15. jazzsucks

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    March 30, 2011 at 10:19 pm | Report abuse |
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