Fossil Friday – ceratopsian vertebra

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On January 25, I showed you a horned dinosaur vertebra that was still partially encased in its plaster field jacket.

Western Science Center volunteer John Deleon has been working hard on this vertebra for the last several weeks and has made great progress. The vertebra is now completely freed from its jacket, and is awaiting a bit more matrix removal and gluing before it is finished.

This vertebra is part of a partial ceratopsian skeleton excavated in New Mexico in 2018 by the Western Science Center, Zuni Dinosaur Institute for Geosciences, and Southwest Paleontological Society. At between 80 and 79 million years old, this skeleton is among the oldest specimens of large horned dinosaurs from North America. We are not yet certain what kind of horned dinosaur this is, but there are numerous more bones from the same animal waiting to be prepared in the WSC lab.

Post by Curator Dr. Andrew McDonald.

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