By Stan Bush
THORNTON, Colo. (CBS4) – Paleontologists are uncovering even more the triceratops in Thornton and have been pleasantly surprised by how much of the skeleton they’ve uncovered.
“We got a horn on Monday, now we’ve got the other horn, we’ve got ribs, vertebrate and maybe other parts of the skull,” said Dr. Joe Sertich, a paleontologist with the Denver Museum of Nature and Science.
The skull was found last Friday by a construction crew digging out the site of a new police and fire substation. Construction workers stopped immediately and called the DMNS.
The skull of the 66 million year-old triceratops is buried in multiple pieces and crews are working delicately to remove it.
“We have a chunk here, a chunk there and when we get back to the museum we hope we can put it back together,” said Sertich.
It’s too early to tell if the triceratops is a complete skeleton, or if there’s even much more than what has already been unearthed. DMNS says the conditions on the ground are perfect for extracting the fossil and the city says the museum can take as much time as the need.
“I was getting choked up because its such a cool thing for the city,” said Thornton Mayor Heidi Williams.
The discovery is spreading “dino fever” throughout the area. Children and adults are flocking to the fence line of the construction site hoping to catch a glimpse of the fossils.
“Most of my class was freaking out and we started digging up this sandy area at our school,” said 10 year-old Tori French.
The museum hopes to begin moving the fossils to their lab by the end of the week.
Stan Bush is a general assignment reporter at CBS4. His stories can be seen on CBS4 News at 10. Read his bio and follow him on Twitter @StanBushTV.