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Nearly intact baby dinosaur skeleton discovered in Canada

PTI | Last Updated: Saturday, November 30, 2013 - 10:34

Toronto: Scientists in Canada have unearthed extremely well-preserved remains of a baby dinosaur, dating back 70 million years, at Alberta`s Dinosaur Provincial Park.

The rare fossil, measuring 1.5-metres long, is the smallest intact skeleton ever found from a group of horned plant-eating dinosaurs known as ceratopsids.

The 3-year-old dinosaur has been identified as a Chasmosaurus belli, which was common in the area.

Researchers believe the creature wandered into a stream, drowned and was covered in sediment where it lay undisturbed for about 70 million years, `CBC News` reported.

Philip Currie, a paleobiologist at the University of Alberta, first found what he thought was an exposed portion of turtle shell on a hillside in the Dinosaur Provincial Park.

After digging a bit, he discovered it was the "frill" or decorative bone at the back of the head of the ceratopsids.

The skeleton is almost complete and intact, so much so that even the skin with its tiny rosette pattern left an impression in the rock, said Currie.

The discovery was made in 2010, but was only recently made public.

Currie said scientists have already been able to determine from this find that head frills change in chasmosaurs as they mature into adults over a 20-year period.

The skeleton is now part of the University of Alberta`s collection.

First Published: Saturday, November 30, 2013 - 10:34

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