Dinosaurs are known as one of the largest group of reptiles that have ever lived. Although they are known to be extinct, they are one of the largely recognized reptiles in the world.

With over 700 known species of extinct dinosaurs, the Nodosaur – a giant plant-eating Dinosaur is known to be exceptionally different. Its 20-inches spikes for defense against predators and a thick coat of armor plating for protection make the Nodosaur one of the best in its family.

Although paleontologists have found the fossils of Nodosaurs during their years of research, the recently revealed Nodosaur specimen, which was accidentally found by a heavy equipment operator at the Millennium Mine in Northern Alberta, has been tagged the best naturally preserved dinosaur specimen ever unearthed.

Although the life-like fossils of the Nodosaur Dinosaur were found in 2011, it was only recently unveiled to the public at the Royal Tyrell Museum of Palaeontology in Alberta, Canada.

Researchers have stated that the Nodosaur Dinosaur is so well preserved that no one can see its bones because the bones are covered by intact skin and armor.

This revelation has become one of the research wonders of the world as even scientists could not believe such an unprecedented level of preservation 110 million years after the creature’s death.

Caleb Brown, a postdoctoral researcher at the Royal Tyrell Museum of Palaeontology, told National Geographic, “We don’t just have a skeleton; we have a Dinosaur as it would have been.”

Don Brinkman, the director of preservation and research at the museum, also told New York Times, “It’s basically a Dinosaur mummy. It is really exceptional.”

Dinosaurs fossils found in China and North America are most times sun-dried and withered. Still, paleontologists have stated that its deep ocean burial caused this Nodosaur’s exceptional level of fossilization.

“The Nodosaur is so well preserved that it might have been surfing the earth a couple of weeks ago. I have never seen anything like this.”

Paleontologist Jakob Vither stated after days of examining the enormous creature.

This remarkable preservation has helped paleontologists understand the size and shape of the Nodosaur. Researchers have stated that the imposing herbivore, when alive, would have been an 18-feet long four-legged herbivore that weighs about 3000 pounds.

It is, however, more surprising that the mummified Nodosaur Dinosaur still weighs 2,500 pounds after so many years of sea burial. The Nodosaur is so big that scientists have described it as the rhinoceros of the Cretaceous period.

While everyone kept wondering how the dinosaur had remained intact, researchers who have spent 7000 hours preparing the fossils for display have stated that it is likely that the Nodosaur may have been swept away by a flood and carried out to the sea where it eventually drowned to the floor of the ocean.

More so, the creature may have been able to stay in such a life-like form due to minerals taking the place of the Nodosaur’s armor and skin.

While decay and fossilization naturally ruin the armor of a dinosaur, the Nodosaur’s scales and bony plates remained intact. The sheaths made the displayed creature look more alive than dead.

Science Alert also commented that the natural preservation of the creature was so good that researchers were able to detect its color.

These researchers, with the use of mass spectrometry techniques, were able to identify tiny bits of red pigments on the Nodosaur’s scales.

This has made them state that the Nodosaur has a dark reddish-brown color on the upper part of its body and a lighter reddish-brown on the underside of its body.

Scientists who worked on the fossils for years think that conflicting coloring of the creature was an early form of countershading.

To them, the dinosaur may have incorporated the camouflage technique of two tones to stop predators from harming an animal.

Likewise, being an herbivore, its two-tone colors may have served as a protection from the carnivores of its time.

Further analysis of the fossils revealed that the Nodosaur Dinosaur had scaly skin, 20-inch-long spikes, armors and barbs.

While the researchers couldn’t conclude that the spikes affected the attractiveness of the dinosaur to the opposite sex, they collectively thought that the combination of the barb and armor was vital in its mating process.

Despite how enormous and heavily guarded the Nodosaur is, one will wonder the extent to which predators went hunting down the creature.

Brown, a researcher, also stated that the strong predation on a heavily protective dinosaur is a vivid illustration of how dangerous the predators of that geologic period must have been.

Asides the exceptional natural preservation of the guts, armor and skin of the Nodosaur Dinosaur, the uniqueness of the Dinosaur mummy is also preserved in its shape. The Nodosaur is a rare discovery in every sense of the word.

Unlike other fossils that have ever been found by paleontologists, the Nodosaur‘s shape was still retained.

This has made researchers tag the Nodosaur specimen as one of the most beautiful and best-preserved dinosaur specimens in the history of science.

Despite the exceptional preservation of this creature, researchers have stated how difficult it was to achieve the current display position.

In fact, a part of the fossils broke into pieces during its removal from Alberta’s Millennium mine in 2011, but because it broke clean and in big pieces, paleo-technicians could restore it. Luckily, we were still on track to recreating one of the most fascinating discoveries ever stumbled upon.

Well, it was quite expected that a part of the fossils would break since the specimen was accidentally found by a miner digging through oil sands. But having the major parts still intact is still incredible and is what allowed for such a realistic and intact specimen.

National Geographic has it that it took researchers 7,000 hours over the course of six years to chisel away the fossils’ surrounding rocks to expose the skin and bone of the creature. It was a very slow, yet rewarding process.

After years of testing the remains and preparing it for display, the Royal Tyrell Museum unveiled the Nodosaur Dinosaur to the populace as one of the centerpieces of the newly found exhibit of fossils.

Now, visitors have the chance to stare at the completely assembled Dinosaur fossils that look so much like a real one. It’s by far the closest we’ve gotten thus far when it comes to experiencing prehistoric life.

Is this something you think you’d need to see in person in order to believe?

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