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Aspiring young archeologist discovers 69-million-year-old hadrosaur

The two bones, parts of the skull and humerus, were discovered by Nathan and his father while on a hike. (CREDIT: NCC)

DRUMHELLER (660 NEWS) – During a hike near Horshoe Canyon with his father, 12-year-old Nathan Hrushkin stumbled upon the partially-exposed bones of a hadrosaur.

After taking photos of the find and sending them to the Royal Tyrell Museum, the bones were identified as part of a young hadrosaur, also known as a duck-billed dinosaur.

The bones, confirmed to be parts of the skull and humerus, were found on the Nodwell property at Horshoe Canyon in an isolated pocket of badlands.

A conservation team has been sent to the site and, since Nathan’s find, upwards of 50 additional fossils have been found in the canyon’s walls.

Nathan Hrushkin and his father, Dion. (CREDIT: NCC)

The bones have been protected and moved to the museum’s lab for research.

“It’s a remarkable discovery,” said Andrew Holland with the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC).

“This is an impressive collection of dinosaur bones that are 69 million years old.”

Holland says this specimen is special because it gives us a look into a period of time we know very little about.

“It comes from a time that we know very little of what kind of dinosaurs or animals lived in the province of Alberta.”

The layer of rock where the hadrosaur does not typically preserve fossils, making this one an exciting oddity.

However, Holland says after news of the find spread, they have had an issue with aspiring treasure hunters.

“Once it was on the radio up in the Drumheller area, that there were dinosaur bones discovered, random people just started showing up. The intent is to come out and enjoy the fresh air, but don’t treat the area like a scavenger hunt.”

Holland says fossils are protected by law and if you do happen to come across one, to immediately report it.

“We want anybody else who finds similar discoveries in that area to take photos of the bones, try and record their location using a GPS, and contact a museum. Also, leave the fossils undisturbed in the ground.”

He says Nathan and his father did a wonderful job in reporting this exciting find.

“This is really a fascinating discovery in part by this 12-year-old boy and his dad who were just out for a hike.”