Nov. 21, 2019 – Staff at Dino Labs Inc. are excavating the fossilized remains of a 65-million-year-old triceratops. In the photo, the skull of the triceratops can be seen with it’s front horn at the bottom near the centre of the photo, and the crest of its skull near the top left. (Nicole Crescenzi/News Staff)

65-million-year-old triceratops makes its debut in Victoria

Dino Lab Inc. is excavating the fossilized remains of a 65-million-year-old dinosaur

Something big just made its debut in Victoria.

On Wednesday night a 15,000-pound shipment arrived at Dino Lab Inc. at 491 Dupplin Rd. The package from Montana contained the fossilized remains of a 65-million-year-old triceratops embedded in rock and soil (or as fossil technicians call it, the matrix). The dinosaur, aptly given the nickname Tank, is a perfectly articulated Triceratops prosus – or at least the front half of one.

“I think something big probably came in ripped it in half and took off,” said Dino Lab owner Terry Ciotka. “Or a flood could have washed it away.”

ALSO READ: New, hands-on dinosaur lab opens in Victoria

Whatever killed the triceratops may never be determined, but after it died many other dinosaurs took advantage of the death: so far, teeth from three different carnivorous species have been found embedded between the bones, including from a theropod.

Most impressive, however, is the big, scaly patch of soil found near the triceratops’s front leg: a skin imprint.

Now it’s up to the team at Dino Lab to excavate the bones from some of the soil.

“It’s going to be a really slow process because we have the skin impressions over there, the theropod teeth, we can’t really take pneumatic tool tools to it. We need to do it mostly by knife,” Ciotka said. “It’s tedious and a lot harder but we have to be super careful.”

ALSO READ: Buster, the new B.C. dinosaur, has a Twitter account

Dino Lab will also be bringing in a paleontologist to help identify some orange stains within the soil to determine if it’s natural iron deposits, or protein left over from the triceratops’s blood.

For at least a year staff will be working away at the excavation, aiming for a partial excavation so that interested museums will be able to take a look at it in its found context.

Visitors to Dino Lab will be able to watch the work happen live as part of the business’s daily tour.

nicole.crescenzi@vicnews.com

Like us on Facebook Send a Tweet to @NicoleCrescenzi
and follow us on Instagram

Just Posted

North Island Rising: Carbon pricing

“I’ve been fortunate enough to hear from and talk with all sides of the climate discussion”

WATCH: Clean-up complete at abandoned Vancouver Island ski hill

Volunteers rid Forbidden Plateau of debris left over from defunct alpine operation

Fence, patrols clean up Duncan neighbourhood, long term solutions scarce

Number of homeless people camping in Lewis Street area has dropped significantly after recent sweep

Closure adds to Parksville Qualicum Beach doctor crisis

One of Canada’s oldest populations having trouble attracting medical expertise

COLUMN: People with disabilities deserve inclusive communities

But to get there, we all need to be part of the change, writes Surrey MLA

VIDEO: Boys help rescue Cariboo bear cub

The cub, weighing just 24lbs, has been taken to wildlife sanctuary in Northwest B.C. for the winter

$578: that’s how much your first distracted driving ticket will cost with recent premium hikes

Over 50 per cent of Canadians admitted to using phone while driving last year, according to study

Kelowna man attempts to steal bait bike from RCMP parking lot

38-year-old Brian Richard Harbison is facing several charges

New survey finds 4.7 million women over 15 were victims of sexual assault in Canada

Some 1.2 million men (eight per cent) report having been sexually assaulted since age 15

CCPA actors fall down a Shakespearian rabbit hole

Ann-Marie MacDonald’s Goodnight Desdemona (Good Morning Juliet) makes for chaotic theatre fun

TESS VAN STRAATEN: Find Christmas cheer in the heart of Victoria

From the iconic Fairmont Empress to decorated Old Town, seasonal activities abound in the harbour

‘Things haven’t changed enough:’ Ecole Polytechnique anniversary prompts reflection

Fourteen women were fatally shot by a gunman at the Montreal school on Dec. 6, 1989

Concern grows as deadline looms for major downtown Nanaimo hotel development

PEG Developments say they’re pushing to break ground before Dec. 31 deadline

New school for Hornby Island; $27 million in upgrades to Comox Valley Middle School

Upgrades to Lake Trail include a $1.5-million child care centre

Most Read