Dinosaur Mummy!

SCIENCE

Known as a nodosaur, this 110 million-year-old, armored plant-eater is the best-preserved fossil of its kind ever found. (Nat Geo Magazine)

Zoom in on dinosaurs and the early Cretaceous in North America.

Click to visit our extremely high-resolution version of this classic Nat Geo map!
Map by National Geographic Maps

Discussion Ideas

 

This nodosaur (Edmontonia rugosidens) was, like the new specimen, Canadian.
Illustration by Mariana Ruiz, courtesy Wikimedia. Public domain

 

 

  • How was the nodosaur so spectacularly fossilized?
    • Many natural phenomena contributed to the fossilization process.
      • The animal died in a river, and was carried to the Western Interior Seaway, the ancient sea that used to split western North America.
      • The body sank to the seafloor, where it “kicked up soupy mud that engulfed it.” The minerals in this soupy mud fossilized the remains, infiltrating the back and armor, turning them to stone imitations of life.
      • Millions of years of sediment piled on top of the fossil. These high-pressure processes which helped preserve the nodosaur fossil also helped create the fossil fuels (oil sands) of the McMurray Formation. Hence the reason Suncor was there in the first place.

 

TEACHERS TOOLKIT

Nat Geo: The Amazing Dinosaur Found (Accidentally) by Miners in Canada

New York Times: ‘Dinosaur Mummy’ Emerges From the Oil Sands of Alberta

Nat Geo: North America in the Age of the Dinosaurs

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