Specialists hope that the find can provide valuable information about the dinosaurs that lived in that period, about which very little is known.
A 12-year-old boy discovered a rare 69-million-year-old dinosaur fossil while taking a walk with his father in the Canadian province of Alberta, they report local media.
Together with his father, the young aspiring paleontologist, Nathan Hrushkin, used to visit the area of the Horseshoe Canyon Formation in search of fossils. It was in the month of July when the little one ran into the partially exposed remains of a hadrosaur, commonly known as a duck-billed dinosaur.
Following the find, they contacted specialists at the Royal Tyrrell Museum of Paleontology in Drumheller and provided the location, as well as photographs of the specimen.
Because fossil reports are rare in the area and protected, the museum dispatched a team that began excavations at the site and collected more than 30 bones from a single specimen.
“We never expected to find something as important as this,” said Nathan’s father.
According to the researchers, the bones collected belong to a young hadrosaur, about 3 or 4 meters long. An adult animal could measure from 10 to 13 meters.
Hadrosaurs are members of the ornithischian family ‘Hadrosauridae’, characterized by their flat-looking snouts, like a duck’s. Francois Therrien of the Royal Tyrell Museum of Paleontology explains that this species was common in his time, somewhat like deer today.
Although this species of dinosaur is one of the most common found in these lands, this specimen is especially particular due to its age and its location in the rock strata, which are home to very few of these animals, about which very little is known.
In this way, scientists hope that the discovery could provide valuable information about dinosaurs in that time period, 69 million years ago. “Nathan’s discovery is really significant because it begins to fill that gap,” Therrien noted.