They found a dinosaur so well preserved that it looks more like a statue!

Generally, when paleontologists encounter dinosaur fossils, they come across eggs, bone fragments and incomplete skeletons. After all, the bugs went extinct many millions of years ago, so it's a bit much to expect someone to find a specimen in perfect condition, isn't it? However, a few years ago something extraordinary happened: a nodosaurus was discovered so well preserved that it could pass for a statue!

Amazing

According to National Geographic's Michael Greshko, the discovery of the fossil took place in 2011 in Alberta, Canada, when a worker operating heavy machinery inside a mine began excavating a kind of weird rock. The guy glanced at the material and, suspecting it might be something important, quickly called his supervisor. Smart miner!

National Geographic / Robert Clark

The weird rock was actually a small fragment of the fossilized skin of a nodosaurus, a type of herbivorous dinosaur that could measure about 5 meters long, about 1.7 meters high and weigh more than 1 ton. The cool thing is that the miner didn't just find a fossil completely by chance. He found a copy no less than 110-112 million years old and is among the best preserved ever discovered in the world. Take a look:

National Geographic / Robert Clark

According to Jason Daley of Smithsonian.com, what makes the specimen of the image above so sensational is that, despite being fossilized, it is still possible to distinguish his features and see details of his armor. He really looks like a statue! The statue of a sleeping dragon, don't you think? And that's not all...

Details

According to CNN's Matt Rehbein, from a scientific point of view, the specimen is also amazing. This is because it is the oldest dinosaur of this type ever discovered and represents a new genus of nodosaurus. The paleontologists who analyzed the specimen even detected tiny fragments of red pigment in the fossil, which may help scientists reconstruct its original coloration, and remnants of fossilized skin covering its skull.

National Geographic / Royal Tyrell Museum Of Palaeontology

According to one of the scientists involved in the study of the dinosaur, they are not facing a skeleton - as is often the case when fossils are discovered - but an animal such as it really was. To give you an idea, the right foot of the nodosaurus is slightly upwards, and the researchers have even been able to count the number of scales in the sole.

National Geographic / Robert Clark

Paleontologists believe that the nodosaurus died near a river, and after its carcass began to swell during the decomposition process, it was carried by the waters to the ocean - where it finally sank and the fossilization process began. After studying the fossil for six years, it took scientists approximately 7, 000 hours to prepare it, and now it will become the star of a new exhibit organized by the Royal Tyrrell Museum in Alberta.

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