Home / NEWS / 110 Million-year-old Dinosaur Mummy Weighing 3000lbs Found In Canada With Its Skin and Gut Contents Intact

110 Million-year-old Dinosaur Mummy Weighing 3000lbs Found In Canada With Its Skin and Gut Contents Intact

By Jatin Sharma, 24 June 2018

Dinosaurs have captured the imaginations of mankind since the discovery of their fossils. Imagining that animals the size of airplanes roaming freely on the Earth; has sent shivers down the spine of humans. Thanks to books, movies, comics, and cartoons, we have been enamored with the dinosaurs and now, dinosaur fossils have been discovered all over the world.

Despite being extinct for the last 70 odd million years, newer and newer species of dinosaurs have been discovered and this is a story of one such species of dinosaur that had some unbelievable features with it. Read to find out what is so special with this dinosaur.

1Dinosaurs

Dinosaurs first appeared on Earth in the Triassic period some 243-233 million years ago. Becoming the most dominant species on Earth in short time, the dinosaurs ruled the planet and their remains are found on every continent on the planet.

There were dinosaurs that walked on the ground, were marine and some species could even fly. Many dinosaurs were bipedal, some walked on all four legs. Every dinosaur species has some sort of horns or crests as a defense mechanism, including bony body armor and even bony spines.

Dinosaurs

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2Origins of Dinosaurs

Origin of dinosaur is subjected to extensive research. As per a 2006 study, more than 500 non-avian dinosaur genera have been identified and classified accordingly. 1047 diverse genus of dinosaurs had been named have been named till 2008 and more have been named since then.

Dinosaurs have been found to come into existence after the Permian–Triassic extinction event which wiped out 95% of all life on Earth. The earliest proof of dinosaurs was rock formations which had fossils of Eoraptor, which was 231.4 million years old when carbon dated.

Origins of Dinosaurs

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3Difference of Size of dinosaurs

The Triassic, early Jurassic, late Jurassic and Cretaceous periods saw differently sized dinosaurs roaming the Earth and the sky. One can find dinosaurs of the Cenozoic era of weights 2-5 kg, while Mesozoic era dinosaurs weighed in the 1- 10 metric tonnes.

The Sauropods were the heaviest and largest dinosaurs to ever roam the Earth. Even the smallest Sauropods were bigger than anything that had walked the Earth then and even now. Only the Blue Whale gives these Sauropods a run for their money in size and weight.

The smallest dinosaur ever known is the bee hummingbird with a length of just 5 cm and weight of 1.8gms. Anchiornis huxleyi, on the other hand, was the smallest non-aviary dinosaur at 118 gms and 1.12 ft height.

Difference of Size of dinosaurs

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4Aviary dinosaurs- True or not?

In 1868, Thomas Henry Huxley put forth the idea that birds evolved from dinosaurs. Archaeopteryx was the first fossil to connect between dinosaurs and birds. The dinosaur was covered by feathers and gave scientists the first evidence that birds evolved from dinosaurs.

However, despite popular opinion, there weren’t any dinosaurs that could fly. There were many non-dinosaur flying reptiles like Plesiosaurus, Pteranodon, Pterodactylus, Dimorphodon, Rhamphorhynchus, Quetzalcoatlus, and many others.

Aviary dinosaurs- True or not?

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5Plant Eaters or Meat Eaters- who wins in numbers?

Despite all the Jurassic Park movies, most of the dinosaurs were herbivores- meaning they ate plants. There were carnivores as well, meaning they hunted other dinosaurs. It so happened cause plant eaters formed a food chain, which fed to the carnivores. If a T-Rex hunted down a triceratops, it would have enough food to last a lifetime for the T-Rex.

65 percent of the dinosaurs were plant eaters and 35 percent were meat-eaters. More plant-eating dinosaur fossils have been found, as compared to that of carnivore dinosaurs. A few of the dinosaurs were omnivores, meaning they ate plants, eggs, insects, etc. Example of omnivores can be Ornithomimus and Oviraptor.

Plant Eaters or Meat Eaters- who wins in numbers?

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6Tyrannosaurus Rex

Probably the most famous dinosaur of all time, thanks to the 1994 movie Jurassic Park, the Tyrannosaurus Rex or T-Rex was present in the Cretaceous period some 85-65 million years ago. It lived near rivers and open forests or in coastal forested swamps. It stands at no.3 in the list of biggest carnivores with Giganotosaurus and Carcharodontosaurus beating it.

Its jaw muscles were powerful with 9 inches long replaceable teeth and walked on two powerful legs. Its body was solidly built but had hollow bones. Tyrannosaurus rex was up to 40 feet (12.4 m) long, about 15 to 20 feet (4.6 to 6 m) tall.

Tyrannosaurus Rex

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7Brontosaurus or Apatosaurus

If you remember, Brontosaurus or Apatosaurus is the dinosaur seen eating from the tree in the Jurassic Park movie, when Hammond takes Dr. Grant on a tour of the park. It was one of the largest land animals to ever roam the Earth.

This enormous plant-eater measured about 70-90 feet (21-27 m) long and about 15 feet (4.6 m) tall. It even had a 15m long tail and had footprints a yard wide. Their favorite foods were soft-leaved plants like horsetails, club mosses, and ferns. It is also speculated that the lifespan of these Brontosaurs was over 100 years.

Brontosaurus or Apatosaurus

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8Argentinosaurus

Named so because its fossils were found in Argentina in 1987, Argentinosaurus is the largest and biggest land animal ever to walk the Earth. It took the crown of the largest dinosaur from Brontosaurus. It is estimated that the biggest ever specimen could have been over 100 ft long and weighed over 100 tonnes.

It is classified as a titanosaur and had the fastest speed of 5 mph. It lived 50 million years after the likes of Apatosaurus, Brachiosaurus, and Diplodocus.

Argentinosaurus

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9How did the dinosaurs go extinct?

There are two main theories put forth by the scientist for the reason why dinosaurs went extinct. One is the Chicxulub Crater event and another is the Deccan Traps of India.

The asteroid impact theory suggests that at the end of the Cretaceous period, a bolide impact happened some 66 million years ago. A bolide 5 to 15 kilometers (3.1 to 9.3 mile) hit the Yucatan Peninsula creating the 110-mile wide Chicxulub Crater and triggering the mass extinction. It caused a massive drop in Earth’s temperature or an intense heat wave. Either way, the dinosaurs couldn’t handle either for a prolonged period and died.

Another argument is the Deccan Traps flood basalts caused the gradual extinction, which started around 68 million years ago. The Deccan Traps in India released an air of dust and sulfuric aerosols, which in turn blocked the sunlight and thereby photosynthesis in plants reduced. It also released volcanic gases, increasing the amount of carbon dioxide in the air.

How did the dinosaurs go extinct

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10Revival of interest in dinosaurs

John Ostrom's discovery of Deinonychus a warm-blooded predator regenerated interest in dinosaurs in the 1970s, as it debunked the theory of dinosaurs being cold-blooded and sluggish. Paleontology became a famous and global science.

Many major new dinosaurs were found in India, South America, Madagascar, Antarctica, and China. Fossils of feathered dinosaurs in China established a link between dinosaurs and evolution of modern day birds.

Revival of interest in dinosaurs

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11Dinosaurs in movies

Dinosaurs have always been relevant in popular culture thanks to novels, paintings, and most recently movies. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s The Lost World (1912), Willis O’Brien’s 1933 movie King Kong made the extinct animals more and more famous.

However, the biggest jump in interest in dinosaurs and continued interest in it since then has been thanks to Steven Spielberg’s 1994 epic Jurassic Park, based on Michael Crichton’s 1990 novel of the same name. Since then, Dinosaurs have become cultural icons with a presence in cartoons, movies, and books.

Dinosaurs in movies

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12This dinosaur mummy found in Canada

On March 21, 2011, Shawn Funk, a heavy-equipment operator at Canada’s Millennium Mile was working, as usual, operating the excavator. Soon, his work turned into heightened intrigue, as he and his supervisor Mike Gratton unearthed the fossils of a dinosaur. It took museum workers more than six years and 7,000 hours to remove the debris and unearth the dinosaur and piece it together.

This dinosaur mummy found in Canada

Image Source: www.nationalgeographic.com

13The mummified dinosaur

The Royal Tyrell Museum workers from Fort McMurray in Alberta came together to unearth the fossilized remains of the dinosaur. They had to wilt away to remove 15,000 pounds of rock containing the dinosaur. When it was hoisted out of the pit, the rock shattered and the dinosaur broke into several chunks. The fragments were driven to the museum wrapped in plaster of Paris. What formed of the pieces put experts in shock and awe. As the dinosaur that was unearthed was a never seen before specimen of a Nodosaur, which had its skin intact.

The mummified dinosaur

Image Source: www.nationalgeographic.com

14Nodosaurs

Nodosaurs were heavily armored dinosaurs with rows of bony armor nodules and spines. They were medium-sized to large, walked on four legs and heavily built. These roamed the Earth 110-112 million years ago in mid-Cretaceous period and were close to 18 feet long and weighed 3,000 pounds or more. It also had 20 inch long spikes jutting out its shoulders to keep the predators in line.

Nodosaurs

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15Extremely detailed dinosaur mummy

Usually, fossils only have bones and teeth left, but this specimen, named Suncor Nodosaur, has preserved armor plates, fossilized remains of its skin. The dinosaur had most likely died and was swept in a river during a flood. Bacteria produced gases which kept the body afloat. After the bloated body burst, the carcass sank to the ocean floor and was covered in the mud.

The mud and minerals in it preserved the scales and armor of the dinosaur and ensured that it was fossilized in pristine condition. The specimen also has microscopic remains of its original coloration. Chemical tests of the dinosaur’s skin have implied at the existence of reddish pigments.

Extremely detailed dinosaur mummy

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