Construction crew discovers dinosaur fossil in Leduc

Edmonton – A construction crew has made an expected but historic discovery in Leduc.

While digging a trench for a new housing development by Qualico Communities on October 23, Degner Construction Group employees found a series of dinosaur fossils about six metres below the surface.

Degner called the Royal Tyrrell Museum, notifying staff about the discovery.

Museum staff and the Degner crew used a large excavator to remove the material above the fossil. The fossil was transported back to the museum on Tuesday.

Palaeontologists from the museum believe the skeleton is from Hypacrosaurus, a large hadrosaur that lived about 68 million years ago.

“This tremendous find will give us even greater insight into the dinosaurs that lived in central Alberta,” said Minister of Alberta Culture Heather Klimchuk in a statement.

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Royal Tyrrell Museum

A tail and hips are visible in the exposed portion of the fossil, and some skull elements have been identified.

“Alberta’s ability to be successful in preserving and protecting valuable palaeontological resources depends on the cooperation of industry and the public. Degner Construction is to be commended for recognizing and taking the right steps to alert the Royal Tyrrell Museum,” said Klimchuk.

Tyrrell Royal Museum

The Leduc fossil will be stored in the museum’s collections until it is prepared for further study.

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“Leduc will now be acknowledged in the natural history of Alberta in a significant way and we’re pleased future generations of Albertans can benefit from this exciting discovery,” said Leduc Deputy Mayor David MacKenzie in a statement.

It’s the second hadrosaur found in Alberta during the past month. The first discovery happened on October 1 at Spirit River which is near Grande Prairie.

“It’s been an incredible year for dinosaur finds,” said Executive Director of the Royal Tyrrell Museum Andrew Neuman in a statement. “This surge in fossil finds has supplemented our own work this field season due in part to increased awareness and diligence among industry and keen-eyed amateurs.”

WATCH: Dr. Francois Therrien from the Royal Tyrrell Museum joins Global Calgary with details on the discovery of a dinosaur fossil in Leduc.

The Royal Tyrell Museum is owned and operated by the Government of Alberta.

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