GRANDE PRAIRIE – Dig it. Paleontologists are busy in northwestern Alberta after a pipeline crew uncovered a fossil of a dinosaur.
The fossil skeleton is of the creature’s tail, and experts believe the prehistoric beast may have been up to 10 metres in size.
Paleontologist Matthew Vavrek calls the find this week near Spirit River “a significant fossil discovery.”
He said the challenge now is to carefully recover the fossil and perhaps find other parts to help determine the type of dinosaur.
People working on the excavation include members of the Philip J. Currie and Royal Tyrrell museums.
“I think the scientists on site believe that it is a hadrosaur, or duck-billed dinosaur, and it looks like there should be some additional parts of it still going back into the hill,” Andrew Neuman, executive director of the Tyrrell said Thursday.
Hadrosaurs were slow-moving plant-eaters that grazed on all fours like a cow.
The pipeline company was helping the scientists, loading the heavy fossil onto a truck where it is to be taken to a secure site for further study.
Neuman said if the rest of the dinosaur can be found the discovery this week will become much more significant.