Scientists at the Tanis dig site in North Dakota have discovered a fossil of a dinosaur they believe died on the day an asteroid wiped the giant reptile out of existence.
According to scientists who study the surprisingly well-preserved leg of the celosaurus, the remains of debris on the fossil can be traced back 66 million years to the exact moment of the extinction. Discovering a sample from the day of the catastrophic asteroid impact is a truly remarkable moment in history.
This discovery is so improbable and historically significant that, in fact, that University of Manchester professor of natural history, Philip Manning, called the discovery “completely crazy.”
“The time resolution we can achieve at this location is beyond our wildest dreams,” he said. BBC. “This shouldn’t really exist, it’s so beautiful. I’ve never dreamed in all of my career that I’d look at something a) lack of time; and b) so beautiful, it also tells such a great story.”
University of Manchester graduate student Robert DiPalma, who is leading the excavations, added, “We have so much detail with this site that it tells us what happened moment by moment, it’s almost like seeing it in the movies. You look at the rock column, you look at the fossils there, and it takes you back to that day. “.
The Tanis excavation site has been the focus of the upcoming BBC documentary, Dinosaurs: The Last Day with Sir David Attenborough. The beloved narrator and presenter will be reviewing the fossils which he has called “An Impossible Fossil”.
In other dinosaur news, a new study has provided a new theory as to why Tyrannosaurus Rex’s arms were short and short. Spoiler: It wasn’t because he was cute that way.
Billy Givens is a freelance writer for IGN.
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