Jurassic Jobsite! Fossils Found by Construction Workers in Colorado

Image of Jurassic Jobsite! Fossils Found by Construction Workers in Colorado
Fossils aren’t the first thing one might expect to find on a construction site…but there’s always a chance!

When digging into the ground, there’s always a chance you may find something that you don’t quite expect. A few construction workers in Colorado made a discovery that they definitely did not anticipate when heading into work that morning: dinosaur fossils.

The project in Thornton, CO was utilizing a skid steer to break ground for a Fire and Police Substation on August 25th when they came across the bones in the soil.

The Findings

Upon hitting the bones with the skid steer, the crew recognized that they were in fact fossils and contacted the Denver Museum of Nature and Science. According to Joe Sertich, the museum’s curator, the manner of the discovery was ideal.

The bones discovered were that of a triceratops. Sertich noted that it is common for such bones to not be recognized for what they are. More often than not, they are plowed and set aside. Sertich asserted that it was lucky that the museum received a call from the site and was able to recover the fossils.

Information on the Fossils

Among the findings was the skull of the dinosaur and (most importantly) its horn. According to Sertich, this triceratops skull is one of only three triceratops skulls that have been excavated on the Front Range.

In addition, the age of the triceratops discovered is estimated to be about 66 million years old. Most fossils found in the surrounding area range in age from 10,000-12,000 years old. They also tend to be camels or mammoths, making this find especially exciting.

Will More Dinosaurs be Found?

In hopes of finding more fossils, the museum currently has plans to prepare the site in Thornton for investigation. Scientists will make sure the site is secure before removing the bones from the soil. Once this is achieved, the site and nearby locations will be scanned for further fossils.


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