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

Courtenay church offers free family clothing centre

Every Tuesday afternoon, 1-3 p.m., the Courtenay Fellowship Baptist Church (2963 Lake… Continue reading

Was there a tornado in Courtenay on Monday?

Suspected phone app glitch gives eerie warning

Record produced by Courtenay’s Doug Cox earns Juno nomination

He worked with fiddler April Verch in Nashville on classic country record

No bears destroyed in Cumberland in 2019

WildSafeBC coordinator updates Village on successes and challenges

Uptown Yarns marks 20 years in business in downtown Courtenay

Owner Jennifer Emslie says crafts like knitting are making a comeback

VIDEO: Feds look to help 126 Canadians quarantined in China for coronavirus

China has confirmed more than 4,500 cases of the new virus, with more than 100 deaths

Off-duty Nanaimo Mountie takes down would-be ice cream thief

Suspect attempted to steal Dilly Bars from Dairy Queen location on Sunday

Sap thief taps Saanich park maple trees, faces hefty fine

One tree found with four taps in Mount Doug Park

Nanaimo man hit with pole in dispute over off-leash dog

RCMP say no charges recommended at this time

Work has started on Malahat Skywalk, expected completion in 2021

$15-million project expected to open in spring, 2021

B.C. reports first coronavirus in Vancouver region

First patient visited Wuhan, China, reported symptoms

New officers elected to Comox Valley Airport Commission

The Comox Valley Airport Commission (CVAC) board of directors has elected Martin… Continue reading

Uber threatens legal action to ‘defend its right’ to operate in Surrey

‘I have no concerns,’ Mayor Doug McCallum replies

Courtenay council to discuss bridge cantilevers at its next meeting

At its next meeting, Courtenay council will revisit the idea of including… Continue reading

Most Read