Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Fossil Fact #3!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

A couple of years ago, back in 2005, Paleontologists in Montana, USA discovered the fossilized remains of a new hadrosaur (duck-billed dinosaur) was discovered called Brachylophosaurus, a Late-Cretaceous (70 million years ago) herbivore with a duck-like bill full of flat grinding molars and looked a bit like an Edmontosaurus. This one was special!!! Named "Leonardo", this Hadrosaur turned out to be a mummy!!!!!!!! With skin still attached, with muscles, and it's last meal!!!!!!!!!!!! With soft tissue fossilized and still attched to a good percentage of it's body, this specimen from the "Leonardo Formation" in Montana, was a major discovery. Dinosaur fossils rarely mummify and then Fossilize. So far, only Duck-bills have mummified as far we know. Meaning, it was attacked by a predator. Here's Leo's Story as I know it:

Leonardo, the mummy Brachylophosaur
Leonardo lived in the Late Cretaceous period (70 million-65 million years ago) of the Mesozoic era in North America. Leonardo had a long wide tail for balance when running from predators, a duck-billed mouth full of flat molars designed for chewing up tough pieces of plants such as conifers. His species occasionally reared up on their hind legs to graze from the tops of trees. Basically, it was an Edmontosaur "cousin." Now, while Leonardo was drinking he didn't see the threat coming for him. A giant Theropod such as a Tyrannosaurus rex charged for him, taking a huge chunk out of the side of Leonardo and then aiming for the neck to shatter the spine. It was unsuccessful and Leonardo later died of his wounds. He later dried out in the sun, became mummified, and then was swallowed up by the lake and sunk to the bottom. He was covered in sediments, the calcium in his bones were replaced by the mineral in the rock, turning the mummy, Leonardo, into a fossil.


Naveed said...

That's by far one of the best paleontological finds of all time. I bet the odds of that forming were one in a billion or something.

Raptor Lewis said...

Maybe. I don't know. They have found others like it but, none quite like "Leo." I agree with you, which is why it was posted.