Camila Villafañe

By Camila Villafañe

LifeBuzz Staff

Worker Discovers Well-Preserved Dinosaur Fossil In Old Mine.

Walnut Colored Lumps

Walnut Colored Lumps

Suncor Energy YouTube

At some point in the early afternoon, the excavator bucket hit against something that was much harder than conventional rock. Funk suddenly stopped what he was doing and brought the bucket up. Then he emptied the contents next to the pit, but that’s when he saw something odd. The lumps were big and they looked like rocks, but their color was similar to that of a walnut. Something about this told him these rocks were important. So, he turned his equipment off and notified his boss.

Funky Patterns

Funky Patterns

CBC.ca

Mike Gratton came over to take a look at Funk’s discovery. He was the site’s supervisor. But as he crouched over to study the lumps, he couldn’t help but wonder what they were. The rocks had rows of light-brown colored disks and a gray stone in between. In his 12 years of experience, Funk had discovered fossilized wood and petrified tree stumps. But this was way different. “We gotta get this checked out,” Gratton told Funk. And that’s when the men were truly petrified.

Getting An Expert Opinion

Getting An Expert Opinion

Suncor Energy YouTube

“It was definitely nothing we had ever seen before,” said Funk. He and Gratton decided to reach out to the higher-ups about this odd-looking discovery. The company contacted the Royal Tyrrell Museum of Paleontology in Drumheller, which was 420 miles from the site. The men were convinced they had uncovered an ancient relic. The museum sent Dr. Donald Henderson, who’s a dinosaur curator, and Darren Tanke, a veteran tech, to check out the unusual stones. Suncor paid for their flight expenses. But the real work was still ahead of them.

12-Hour Shifts

12-Hour Shifts

Suncor Energy YouTube

The lumps were examined by Henderson and Tanke to see if these were parts of a dinosaur fossil. To do that, they had to extract all of the remains. Suncor excavators lent the two men several hands in order to dig through the rock. They worked in 12-hour shifts. Eventually, the fossil was finally removed from the rockface, all except for the bottom part. And that would prove to be a challenge too.

Disaster Struck

Disaster Struck

Suncor Energy YouTube

The excavators had managed to wear down the rock to a 15,000-pound protuberance where the fossil had remained for millions of years. Now, they had to get it out, so the team dug two tunnels underneath the stone block and added wood beams within. This allowed them to whittle down the remaining rocks. Then they placed slings on the ends of the beams to lift the whole structure from the ground. But disaster struck when the machine was activated.

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