From a construction site in Thornton, the newly discovered triceratops fossils have a new home at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science.
Late last week, construction workers discovered a 66 million-year-old triceratops Thornton as they worked to construct the city's new public safety building. The public will get to take a look starting this weekend at the museum.
Just off the dig site Friday evening and still covered in plaster and dirt, Natalie Toth couldn't hide her enthusiasm about the new find.
"I am the first person that has seen this thing since it died 66 million years ago," she said with a smile.
It's her job as a fossil preparator at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science to make sure the pre historic pieces are preserved.
"We just have dental picks. We're using regular paint brushes, and tooth brushes," she said.
It's a delicate job. Luckily the sand surrounding the triceratops pieces is soft. That should make getting the rest of the two dozen or so fossils out of the ground much easier compared to other dig sites.
While it's not a complete dinosaur, it's one of the best triceratops found on the Front Range.
"It's not like Jurassic Park where we're finding these big beautiful fossils that are all articulated and laid out in the ground in the perfect position in which they died. And so we are really fortunate that up in Thornton we're finding you know not just one or two fossils but we have multiple elements from this one individual," said Toth.
Most of the fossils are still in the ground. So far, a rib, part of the beak, and several vertebrae from the base of the skull will be on display. Some are partially exposed and some completely encased in their white plaster field jackets.
The picking and brushing to expose the fossilized bones will continue for months at the museum. Enough time for lots of visitors to get their own up-close look at the triceratops.
Starting Saturday morning, scientists and volunteers will be available to answer questions as museum visitors get their first look at the triceratops. The Denver Museum of Nature and Science opens at 9 a.m.