University of Alberta to Display Important Dinosaur Discoveries

The almost complete fossilised skeleton of a baby horned dinosaur and the preserved skull from an adult duck-billed dinosaur that shows evidence of a soft crest on top of its head are to go on display to the public in the Canadian city of Edmonton.  From February 6th until March 8th, visitors to the University of Alberta Museum’s galleries at Enterprise square will be able to view the fossilised remains of a baby Chasmosaurus along with the rooster-like comb on the skull of an Edmontosaurus (E. regalis).   These dinosaur fossils were amongst the most significant discoveries reported upon by Everything Dinosaur team members last year.  It is rare to find a baby dinosaur, these carcases decompose more rapidly than larger adult specimens and most baby dinosaur remains would have been snapped up by a passing meat-eater.  To have an almost perfectly preserved example of a young horned dinosaur is a great boost for the palaeontologists working in the Dinosaur Provincial Park Formation.

The Chasmosaurus skeleton is nearly complete, only the front limbs are missing, which are believed to have disappeared down a sink hole in the past.  The dinosaur has been affectionately called “baby” and if visitors look carefully, they will be able to make out 72 million year old preserved skin impressions on the specimen over the ribs of the 1.5 metre long specimen.

Phil Currie (Canada Research Chair in Dinosaur Palaeobiology at the University of Alberta) Shows Off the Fossil Find

"The best preserved baby horned dinosaur ever found".

“The best preserved baby horned dinosaur ever found”.

Picture Credit: Bruce Edwards (from a video interview)

To read more about the baby Chasmosaurus fossil: Baby Chasmosaurus Fossil Unearthed in Alberta

Clearly excited about the prospect of putting this fossil, which was discovered in 2010, on public display, Phil Currie stated:

“It’s my pride and joy.  It is the best preserved baby horned dinosaur known anywhere in the world.  It is an unbelievable specimen!”

Joining “baby” on display will be skull material from an adult duck-billed dinosaur (Saurolophinae), called Edmontosaurus.  This specimen, Edmontosaurus regalis revealed for the first time evidence that these large, herbivores may have had soft-tissue crests on their heads, rather like the combs on cockerels.

Everything Dinosaur reported on this discovery, when the scientific paper was published in “Current Biology” just five weeks ago.  To read more about this study: Dinosaur with a Comb Like a Rooster’s

The Edmontosaurus Material Going on Display

Arrows indicate preserved impression of skin, the presence of a crest and skull bones.

Arrows indicate preserved impression of skin, the presence of a crest and skull bones.

Picture Credit: Frederico Fanti et al/Current Biology

A spokesperson from Everything Dinosaur commented:

“The fact that these recently described specimens are going on display to the public so quickly is fantastic news.   We applaud the staff at the University of Alberta for all their hard work.  These two fossil discoveries are very significant and they demonstrate to the public at large that we still have so much to learn about the Dinosauria.”

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