Nov. 21, 2019 – Staff at Dino Labs Inc. are excavating the fossilized remains of a 65-million-year-old triceratops. In the photo, the skull of the triceratops can be seen with its front horn at the bottom near the centre of the photo, and the crest of its skull near the top left. (Nicole Crescenzi/News Staff)

65-million-year-old triceratops fossil arrives in Victoria

Dino Lab Inc. is excavating the fossilized remains of a Triceratops prosus

Something big just made its debut in Victoria.

A 15,000-pound shipment arrived at Dino Lab Inc. in Victoria on Wednesday night from Montana. It contained the fossilized remains of a 65-million-year-old triceratops embedded in rock and soil (or as fossil technicians call it, the matrix).

The dinosaur, aptly given the nickname Tank, is a perfectly articulated Triceratops prosus – or at least the front half of one.

“I think something big probably came in ripped it in half and took off,” said Dino Lab owner Terry Ciotka. “Or a flood could have washed it away.”

ALSO READ: New, hands-on dinosaur lab opens in Victoria

Whatever killed it may never be determined, but after it died, many other dinosaurs took advantage of the death: so far, teeth from three different carnivorous species have been found embedded between the bones.

Most impressive, however, is the big, scaly patch of soil found near the triceratops’s front leg: a skin imprint.

Now it’s up to the team at Dino Lab to excavate the bones from some of the soil.

“It’s going to be a really slow process. … We need to do it mostly by knife,” Ciotka said, instead of pneumatic tools. “It’s tedious and a lot harder but we have to be super careful.”

ALSO READ: Buster, the new B.C. dinosaur, has a Twitter account

The facility will also bring in in a paleontologist to help identify some orange stains within the soil to determine if they are natural iron deposits or protein left over from the triceratops’s blood.

Staff will be working away at the excavation for at least the next year, aiming for a partial excavation so that interested museums can look at it in its found context.

Visitors to Dino Lab will be able to watch the work happen as part of a daily tour.

nicole.crescenzi@vicnews.com

Like us on Facebook Send a Tweet to @NicoleCrescenzi
and follow us on Instagram

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Just Posted

Port Hardy called in record number of black bear sightings last year

Conservation Officers attended 74 of the 314 calls made

North Island recreation camping site closed due to vandalism

Ruined picnic tables are the main damage

Port McNeill’s outdoor swimming pool will stay closed this summer

The Town of Port McNeill typically hires 12-13 staff for the pool every year.

Bird contacting wires causes massive Port Hardy power outage

The power outage started at 1:18 p.m. and lasted until 3:00 p.m.

Port Hardy Salvation Army serving lunch daily during pandemic

Centre is closed to the public, but overnight shelter, daily lunch and one-on-one services available

March dental conference key to many of B.C.’s COVID-19 cases

Early infections from China, Iran were quickly contained

Cortes Island affordable housing project hangs by a thread

Regional decision makers resort to COVID-19 concerns despite virtual meeting option and push hearing to September

MAP: Dr. Henry reveals which B.C. regions have seen most COVID-19 cases

B.C. health officials release a first look at how the novel coronavirus has reached all corners of the province

Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation woman, 26, fatally shot by police in Edmundston, N.B.

Police were conducting a well-being check at the time of the incident

Seniors to receive up to $500 in promised COVID-19 emergency aid in early July

The Liberal government first promised the extra help in mid-May, but had to create a new system to deliver the aid

VIDEO: Revelstoke bear wanders into Animal House pet store

Staff got ready to chase it out with a broom

Man found dead in his tent at Island homeless camp

Facebook posts tell of personal struggles and attempts to stay clean and sober

New study is first full list of species that only exist in Canada

Almost 40 per cent of them are critically imperilled or imperilled and eight are already extinct

Most Read