When Tyler Larson, a 25-year-old doctoral paleontology student at Yale University discovered a dinosaur on his uncle's ranch almost a decade ago, he stumbled upon something truly rare, a 65-million-year-old mummified duckbilled dinosaur:
Unlike almost every other dinosaur fossil ever found, the Edmontosaurus named Dakota, a duckbilled dinosaur unearthed in southwestern North Dakota in 2004, is covered by fossilized skin that is hard as iron. It's among just a few mummified dinosaurs in the world, say the researchers who are slowly freeing it from a 65-million-year-old rock tomb.
"This is the closest many people will ever get to seeing what large parts of a dinosaur actually looked like, in the flesh," said Phillip Manning, a paleontologist at Manchester University in England, a member of the international team researching Dakota.
"This is not the usual disjointed sentence or fragment of a word that the fossil records offer up as evidence of past life. This is a full chapter."
Link (Photo: Will Kincaid / AP)