Oil patch workers stumble upon massive new ‘complete find’ dinosaur fossil

Experts are calling a dinosaur fossil unearthed in northern Alberta this week one of the “most complete finds in this part of the world in a long time.”

Brian Brake, executive director of the Philip J. Currie Dinosaur Museum, said the fossilized remains of a hadrosaur were discovered at an energy company’s work site near Spirit River.

Officials from the pipeline firm contacted the museum, which sent paleontologists to assess the find.

“What we have is a totally composed tail,” Brake said. “It’s beautiful.”

The Currie Museum contacted its counterparts at the Royal Tyrrell Museum in Drumheller, which sent a team to the work site on Wednesday.

The paleontologists will attempt to carefully remove the fossil from the work site as soon as possible, taking it to either the Tyrrell Museum or to the University of Alberta.

The portion of the tail is about three metres long and the bones along its tail can be easily seen. The hadrosaur, a plant-eating dinosaur with a bill that resembled a duck’s, was probably 10 to 15 metres long, Brake said. They existed during the Upper Cretaceous Period.

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