In a surprising turn of events, a routine construction project in Thornton, Colorado uncovered an incredible prehistoric relic—a Triceratops fossil. This astounding find is particularly significant due to its rarity — it includes the skull of a Triceratops, one of just three ever discovered in the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains.
A Paleontological Marvel
The unearthing of this Triceratops fossil has sent shockwaves of excitement through the paleontological community. Joe Sertich, a paleontologist affiliated with the Denver Museum of Nature & Science, expressed his excitement about the discovery. Sertich, who was called in to authenticate the find, has high hopes for the fossil’s future. He envisions it gracing the halls of his museum after meticulous excavation and preservation.
A Glimpse into Earth’s Ancient Past
What makes this find even more remarkable is its age. Unlike the majority of fossils found along the Front Range — which date back a mere 10,000 to 12,000 years to the last ice age — this Triceratops predates human history by at least 66 million years.
It hails from an era when Triceratops roamed the Earth but eventually met their end, likely due to a colossal asteroid impact.
Triceratops: The Stuff of Legends
In 1905, the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History displayed the skeleton of a Triceratops called “Hatcher,” named after the paleontologist John Bell Hatcher. Triceratops is especially famous for its three-horned face and is one of the most well-known dinosaurs that ever lived. You might have noticed them in popular movies like Jurassic Park and The Land Before Time. This discovery takes a closer look at Triceratops, helping us learn more about how these dinosaurs lived.