Boy, 12, discovers rare dinosaur skeleton

This July, the aspiring paleontologist was out hiking with his father in the fossil-rich region when he noticed bones jutting from a rock.

A 12-year-old boy made his lifetime discovery when he found a dinosaur skeleton that dated back 69 million years in Alberta, Canada. This July, the aspiring paleontologist was out hiking with his father in the fossil-rich region when he noticed bones jutting from a rock.

On Thursday, the excavation of the skeleton was completed.

The kid, Nathan Hrushkin, says he was “literally speechless” when he first set eyes on the bones. “He told the BBC,” I wasn’t even excited, even though I feel I should have [been].

“I was happy that I finally made a dinosaur discovery.”

Nathan developed an interest in dinosaurs since he was six. He frequently walks with his father to the Albertan Badland Nature Conservation Site of Canada.

They had uncovered tiny pieces of fossils a year before. Besides, his father speculated they were coming down from the rock above.


But Nathan wanted to do an examination this summer. Fossilized bones grew from the side of the slope. “He called his dad,” Daddy, you gotta get up here!

From the sound of his voice, his father realized Nathan had discovered something.

“They actually looked like stone bones-you couldn’t confuse them for something else,” said his dad, Dion Hrushkin.

“It appeared like the end of the femur. It seemed like the classic bone, coming straight out of the ground.”

Nathan discovered a dinosaur

Nathan understands that the law preserves fossils. But when they got home, they went to the Royal Tyrrell Museum website, which is based in Alberta and is dedicated to the research of prehistoric life. The museum instructed them to submit pictures of the discovery and its GPS coordinates, which they did.

The Badlands is home to numerous fossils, and in the late 1800s, Joseph Tyrell found a dinosaur called Albertosaurus. However, the part of the conservation location where they walked was not familiar with fossil discoveries. Therefore, the museum sent out a team of experts to dig.

Thus far, between 30 and 50 bones have been discovered in the canyon wall. Meanwhile, they all belonged to one small Hadrosaur, which is around three or four years old.

“I was probably like most children. The Tyrannosaurus rex was perhaps my favorite kind,” Nathan says.

“But since my discovery, it’s probably the Hadrosaurus.”

In addition, the fossil is around 69 million years old. However, the dinosaur is historically significant, the museum notes, and reports from that time period are scarce.

“This young Hadrosaur is a very interesting discovery because it comes from a time frame about which we knew very little of what sort of dinosaurs or species existed in Alberta. The finding of Nathan and Dion will help us fill this wide void in our understanding of the history of dinosaurs,” said in a statement the curator of palaeo-ecology of the museum, François Therrien.

Nathan claims he liked studying all about dating dinosaur fossils and that the entire thing was “surreal.”

“It’s going to be awesome to see them, after months of effort, finally get something out of the ground,” he says.

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