Some construction crews in Thornton, Colorado, were extremely shocked when they discovered a rare triceratops fossil in a parking lot back in August. At a first glance, this is what they thought was there and everyone was extremely proud of the unexpected discovery. However, being 66 million years old doesn’t mean that you cannot still trick people. Recently, the Denver Museum of Nature and Science surprised everyone when it announced that the fossil didn’t actually belonged to a triceratops.
It’s not anything invaluable either. Actually, it’s still a dinosaur fossil, but one even more rare than anyone expected. Nobody blamed the crews for mistaking the bones for those of a triceratops because this rare dinosaur resembles it. According to the experts at the museum, the fossil belongs to a Torosaurus, an even more rare specimen. This is a close relative of the triceratops with two large holes and a longer and more delicate frill.
Torosaurus, the close cousin of the triceratops
According to the curator of dinosaurs at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science, Joe Sertich, the number of Torosaurus bones is much smaller than that of triceratops ones. Actually, in the American West, experts have discovered over 2,000 fossils coming from triceratops individuals. In comparison, they have only found about seven partially-preserved skulls belonging to Torosaurus individuals.
Also, this recently-found fossil, the one from Thornton, is the best-preserved one and has the most complete skeleton. The fact that the teams found any type of dinosaur fossils in that area was already a very big accomplishment. Most of the fossils in Colorado are about 10,000 years-old.
The Torosaurus fossil has about 95% of its skull and 20% of the skeleton identified. This makes it the most complete fossil from the Cretaceous period ever found in Colorado. The experts are still cleaning the bones. This means that soon, we might find a lot more details about this ancient beast.
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