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Dinosaur discovery close to Jordan will open up study possibilities



Montana – The field of paleontology has been revolutionized by a rare dinosaur discovery in eastern Montana.

This past week, workers on a ranch east of Jordan began covering an Edmontosaurus in burlap and plaster.

By doing so, the fossil will be secured and ready to be relocated by October.

The finding sheds light on what these species’ skin would have looked like 65 million years ago.

“The inland sea, they call it the Cretaceous sea,” Alan Detrich said about the area. “Goes all the way up into Canada and covered Kansas, where I live.”

Detrich is obsessed with dinosaurs, but his most recent find is even more exceptional.

Detrich calculated that the Edmontosaurus was 35 feet long from nose to tail tip.

An Edmontosaurus skull replica is on display at the Garfield County Museum.

But the fact that the skin is fossilized is what makes this discovery so extraordinary.

Detrich thinks the dinosaur might have had the ability to transform its skin color from orange to another color, like a chameleon, providing safety from predators.

“That ain’t a bad thing, if you’re 35-40 foot long and got T-rex looking for you,” Deitrch said. “It was filet mignon. We have nicknamed this Peking duck. You know that’s the quality food, Peking duck. We do that because kids like to call these Edmontosauruses, duckbill dinosaurs.”

Eight teeth were also discovered, which he believes to be those of potential predators called Nanotyrannuses.

Both of those things will make it possible to research dinosaurs.

Dinosaurs were sold by Detrich to museums in the United States, Europe, and Asia.

“We’d probably rolled it over horseback,” said Bobby Kerr, a rancher who has worked the land. “Didn’t know what was there because we’re out here looking for cows.”

The find was made not far from Kerr’s land.

He has been assisting the paleontologists in moving soil.

“They sit there in 100-degree heat all day with a little pick, and scrape and scratch and get the dirt moved away,” Kerr said.

Though tedious and even uncomfortable, Detrich wouldn’t trade his profession for anything.

“It’s the beauty of the country and the people,” Detrich said. “And the mystery of these creatures that lived here, millions of years ago.”


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