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Alberta pipeline workers discover dinosaur fossils
Kirsten Goruk, QMI Agency
First posted: Thursday, October 03, 2013 06:46 PM EDT | Updated: Thursday, October 03, 2013 07:18 PM EDT
GRANDE PRAIRIE, Alta. — A Tourmaline Oil crew on Monday uncovered a piece of fossilized dinosaur.
The crew was installing a pipeline in the Saddle Hills area southwest of Spirit River. Workers were digging about 1 1/2 metres into the ground when a backhoe operator scraped something that wasn’t dirt or rock.
“I think what’s really the most significant thing about the story is that this pipeline company that encountered this animal contacted the appropriate authorities and were a good, corporate responsible company by doing what is not only required, but what they should do,” said Andy Neuman, executive director of the Royal Tyrrell Museum in Drumheller, Alta.
Construction on the site has come to a halt while a crew of specialists from the museum, as well as Matthew Vavrek, the Pipestone Creek Dinosaur Initiative’s head paleontologist, work on moving the fossil.
“The piece that’s exposed, to the best of my knowledge, is about two metres long. It’s most of the tail of, probably, a duckbill dinosaur,” Neuman said.
Neuman explained that it’s possible they may discover more of the hadrosaur running into the rock as they work to remove it.
Scott Kirker, secretary and general counsel with Tourmaline, added that the company is fine with having to delay some of the work for a few days.
“They just waited to see what they would have to do next. So that part of the project is certainly not going anywhere at the moment, which is fine. It’s kind of cool,” he said.
kirsten.goruk@sunmedia.ca
Twitter: @DHTKirsten
The skeleton of a duck-billed dinosaur was discovered by workers excavating for a pipeline southwest of Spirit River, Alberta, on Sept. 30, 2013. (Royal Tyrell Museum photo)

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