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

COVID- 19: Ucluelet encourages visitors and residents to mask up

“Put your ego aside, this is what needs to be done,” said Ucluelet mayor Mayco Noel.

Frustration grows in Ucluelet as locked gate puts school garden in peril

“You walk by there and it’s just dead. Everything’s dry and yelling for water,” Liisa Nielsen said.

QUIZ: How much do you know about British Columbia?

On this B.C. Day long weekend, put your knowledge of our province to the test

Ucluelet fire crew extinguishes residential blaze

Ucluelet’s fire chief is praising his crew for making short work of a residential blaze on Tuesday.

DFO reports unusually high whale mortalities in 2020

“It’s so important to have all these eyes and ears in the community reporting these deaths.”

Airlines dispute Dr. Henry’s claim they ‘very rarely’ give accurate COVID contact tracing info

Air Canada, WestJet say they provide names and contact information

Airborne hot dog strikes Greater Victoria pedestrian

Police called to 4200-block of Quadra Street for hot dog incident

B.C. scientist, 63, protests in trees set to be removed for Trans Mountain pipeline

Tim Takaro is reaching new heights as he tries to stall the pipeline expansion project in New Westminster

Dwindling B.C. bamboo supply leaves Calgary Zoo biologists worried about pandas

Zoo has been trying to send pandas back to China since May

Dinosaurs revived for animatronic auction in Langley

More than 500 robot dinosaurs, fossils, and exhibition gear are going on the block Aug. 6

B.C. paramedics responded to a record-breaking 2,700 overdose calls in July

Province pledges $10.5 million for expansion of overdose prevention response

Canada signs deals with Pfizer, Moderna to get doses of COVID-19 vaccines

Earlier in July both Pfizer and Moderna reported positive results from smaller trials

Canucks tame Minnesota Wild 4-3 to even NHL qualifying series

J.T. Miller leads Vancouver with goal and an assist

Cyclist in hospital after being hit by load of lumber hanging from truck on B.C. highway

A man is in hospital with broken ribs, punctured lung and a broken clavicle and scapula

Most Read