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

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Former Sidney mayor calls on local MLA Adam Olsen to resign over protests

Olsen has rejected the demand, calling Price’s language divisive and responsible for polarization

Six boat wrecks wash up on Cadboro Bay beaches over the weekend

Dead Boat Society working with Oak Bay, Saanich to clear derelict boats

UPDATED: One-sailing wait from Swartz Bay ferry terminal after morning protest

Movement in solidarity with Wet’suwet’en First Nation

Victoria hotel awards couples for baby-making with Valentine’s freebie

Have a baby nine months after your stay and enjoy 18-year Valentines deal

ICBC to bring in ranking system for collision, glass repair shops

Change comes after the much-maligned auto insurer has faced criticism for sky-high premiums

Surrey’s ‘Pink Palace’ being used for Stephen King horror shoot

New web series based on King’s The Stand novel

‘It was just so fast’: B.C. teen recalls 150-metre fall down Oregon mountain

Surrey’s Gurbaz Singh broke his leg on Mount Hood on Dec. 30

Vancouver Island Pride weekend returns to Mount Washington Alpine Resort

Building on the success of last year’s family-friendly pride festival on Vancouver… Continue reading

Scarlett Point lighthouse keeper wins a million bucks playing the lottery

“I usually just get a quick pick, so I didn’t expect to win a big prize”

Poll suggests some don’t think Canada should send troops to stop genocide

The findings are being released just before the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz

B.C. woman crowned the fastest female marathon runner in Canadian history

Malindi Elmore ran an incredible 2:24:50 at the Houston Marathon

Alberta bulldog breeder ordered to give refund to B.C. buyer due to puppy’s behaviour

Tribunal ruled a verbal agreement to send a new dog superseded the written contract

Most Read