Crew unearths 66-million-year-old Triceratops skeleton in Thornton


THORNTON, Colo. — The rare fossil of a Triceratops was uncovered at the site of Thornton’s new Public Safety Facility, the Denver Museum of Nature and Science confirmed Tuesday.

Officials say so far, a horn and shoulder blade have been unearthed at the facility located at 132nd Avenue and Quebec Street.

“I’m excited to stabilize the area tomorrow [Wednesday] and collect the fossil and to see how much more is under the surface,” said Joe Sertich, curator of dinosaurs at Denver Museum of Nature and Science.

The Museum is looking to tie-in other finds in the area to see what exactly was happening in the habitat when the Rocky Mountains were forming 66 million years ago.

“It is incredible to have this find occur in our backyard,” Sertich said. “We’ve found two dozen horned dinosaurs — including several new species — in the past couple of years outside of Colorado. Some are the largest and most complete skeletons ever recovered. Finds like this help us to understand dinosaur evolution and behavior.”

Work will continue over the next several days at the construction site to excavate the Triceratops.

According to National Geographic, fossil evidence shows that the Triceratops was about 30 feet long and 10 feet tall and weighed between four and six tons. Described as a modern-day rhinoceros, Triceratops used its beaklike mouth and powerful jaws to shred and grind ferns and other low-lying vegetation.

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