Imagine a world 67 million years ago, when dinosaurs ruled the earth. Thanks to palaeontologists and sometimes others who’ve made accidental discoveries, dinosaur fossils have been discovered and studied for hundreds of years, much to humans’ great interest and fascination. Our team of in-house natural history and archeology experts are some of those who have studied these fossils. They shared a bit of their knowledge about fossils and the great stories of their discoveries. Read on to learn about the 5 most impressive dinosaur fossils ever found.
1. A Fossilised Fight
Discovered in Mongolia in 1971, this Velociraptor and Protoceratops will remain forever mid-fight. The Velociraptor, a carnivore, was found with his claw locked to his prey’s carotid artery. While the Protoceratops, a herbivore, wrapped his biting jaw around the Velociraptor’s arm. It is believed they were fossilised by a falling land mass which covered and killed them both, while they were locked in a battle for their lives.
Image source: New Scientist
2. The Largest Tyrannosaurus Rex Ever Found
Meet Sue - the largest, best preserved, and most complete T-rex ever to be discovered. She is 40.5 feet long and stands 13 feet tall when measured at her hip. She was discovered in South Dakota by Sue Hendrickson in 1990. Before Sue’s discovery, palaeontologists had only ever discovered up to 60% complete fossils of T-rexes. Whereas 90% of Sue’s phenomenal fossil frame was found, an incredible advancement in the understanding and study of this mighty species.
Image source: Field Museum
3. The Most Realistic Dinosaur Fossil
Many factors make this fossil impressive. It is the fossil of a never-before-seen type of Nodosaur, found accidentally by Canadian miners in a marine environment where it’s very unusual to discover dinosaurs. But what’s even more fascinating is that the fossil itself is a complete petrified body - not just a skeleton. This is very rare in the palaeontology world - as it’s possible to see the dinosaur’s scales and skin in extraordinary detail. Take a look; it’s hard to believe this isn’t a statue of a sleeping Nodosaur.
Image source: National Geographic
4. Prehistoric Poo
Although this fossil might look like any other rock, it’s actually 65 million year old dinosaur dung. Considering the sheer scale of the giants which once roamed the earth, they ingested hundreds of pounds of food everyday and of course, all that waste had to go somewhere, only to be discovered by humans millions of years later. Karen Chin from the University of Colorado Museum specialises in fossilised faeces - otherwise known as coprolites. It’s a strange job, but then someone’s gotta do it!
Image source: NY Post
5. Sea Monster Having Babies
Lastly, an impressive fossil in which we can see a mother giving birth to her 3 children. In fact, she’s already given birth to one, one is on its way out and the third is yet to be born. The mother was an Ichthyosaur; though technically not a dinosaur, the species is known as a monster of the sea and lived in the Mesozoic era, 252 to 66 million years ago. This discovery challenges the previous theory that such sea creatures, despite being reptiles, laid eggs. Instead this fossil suggests the live-bearing of these young, which would have taken place on land - a baffling revelation to science.
Image source: New Scientist
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