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They thought it was a triceratops. They were wrong

Sure, he's 66 million years old, but that does not mean he does not have some tricks up his sleeve yet.

In August, construction teams in Thornton, Colorado unearthed a rare fossil of triceratops in a parking lot. At least, that's what they thought.

It's December now, and the Denver Museum of Nature and Science made a surprise announcement: it's not a triceratops!

That's according to a press release distributed on Tuesday morning. The good news is that it is still a dinosaur, in fact, it is very similar to a triceratops … unless you are an experienced paleontologist, of course.

Scientists at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science say the fossil belongs to a rare Torosaurus, a close cousin of triceratops that has a longer, more delicate flywheel and two very large holes.

"While the number of good samples of Triceratops collected from the American West probably exceeds 2,000 individuals, only seven partial Torosaurus skulls are known," said Joe Sertich, curator of dinosaurs at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science. "The Thornton beast is by far the most complete and best preserved ever found."

Finding dinosaur fossils was already a big problem: most of the fossils found in Colorado are more than 10,000 years old, according to Denver. Museum of Nature and Science.

This fossil is even more important: with an estimated 95 percent of the skull and at least 20 percent of the identified skeleton, this specimen is the most complete fossil of the Cretaceous period discovered in Colorado, the Nature Museum of Denver and Science wrote in a press release.

And, since the crews are still working to clean up the fossils, we could learn more about this magnificent ancient beast.


More dinosaur bones were found at Thornton's construction site

More dinosaur bones were found at Thornton

Construction workers unearthed bones from strange dinosaurs in Thornton

How the most important thing is that Thornton triceratops, really?

Copyright 2017 KUSA

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