Boy, 12, discovers rare dinosaur skeleton in remote part of Canada

Canadian boy finds fossils critical to the study of the hadrosaur, or duck-billed dinosaur

12-year-old from Calgary makes “significant find” of Hadrosaur bones near Drumheller

Have you ever heard that saying: It takes one to know one?

The paleontologist says, in the initial photos that were sent to him, there were some bones that he could not immediately identify.

Fossils are protected by law in Alberta and according to the museum the Hrushkins are a ideal example of what to do when someone discovers fossils: take photos of the bones, record their location using a Global Positioning System or Google Earth, report the find to the Royal Tyrrell Museum and, most importantly, leave the fossils undisturbed in the ground because much information is lost when they are removed from their location.

"Those are the most common dinosaurs found in Alberta, at least they were the most common at the end of the Cretaceous".

So this summer Nathan made a decision to inspect.

The dinosaur bones were discovered on Nature Conservancy of Canada conservation lands and not the Horsehoe Canyon municipal property.

This time, Nathan climbed up onto a little plateau and the bones were "just sitting on the ground", partially embedded in rocks that were tens of millions of years old.

The excavation process took a few months to complete due to the difficulty of removing the series of bones from the rocky hill.

"They really, really stood out", he said.

Curator of Dinosaur Paleontology Francois Therrien went to the area with the family to examine what they had found. When he realized how many bones were there, he assembled a whole team of scientists to help.

Most importantly, the Hruskins did not touch or disturb the fossils.

But the part of the conservation site where they were walking was not known for fossil discoveries, so the museum sent a team of experts to excavate.

Therrien was the first scientist on the scene, but he quickly realized he needed reinforcements.

Since Nathan's discovery, between 30 and 50 bones have been found by paleontologists in the canyon's wall, all of which belonged to a single young hadrosaur aged between three and four years old.

Nathan and his dad, Dion, have been coming to the site west of Drumheller for years and are always on the hunt for fossils.

"Fossils are protected by law and much information is lost when they are removed from their location", Nature Conservancy Canada said.

Hadrosaur bones are the most common fossils found in Alberta's badlands, but few juvenile skeletons have been found, the statement said.

A 12-year-old boy has discovered a dinosaur skeleton dating back around 69 million years in what paleontologists have described as an important find.

"What's interesting about this find is that it comes from a time interval for which we know very little about what dinosaur species lived in Western North America during that time period. The discovery made by Nathan is a young individual of a duck-billed dinosaur", says Therrien.

"I've been aspiring to become a paleontologist for as long as I can remember", he said.

Nathan and his dad go searching for dinosaur bones every summer.

"He called down to me, he's like, 'Dad, you need to get up here, ' and as soon as he said that I could tell by the tone in his voice that he found something", Dion Hrushkin said.

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