A 66-million-year-old surprise at a Thornton construction site is getting even cooler.
Scientists from the Denver Museum of Nature and Science and a group of trained volunteers have found even more of a triceratops that was uncovered at the construction site for Thornton’s new public safety facility at 132nd Avenue and Quebec Street.
They say the find could be the most complete cretaceous dinosaur ever discovered along the Front Range.
“This discovery really is a window into not only what Thornton was like, but what the Front Range was like 66 and a half million years ago,” said dinosaur curator Joe Sertich of the Denver Museum of Nature and Science.
Crews have already uncovered a skull and part of the skeleton. This was a big find: only around three triceratops fossils have been found on the Front Range.
Usually, fossils in this area aren’t nearly as old.
On Wednesday, crews also uncovered a second horn, a portion of the frill, peak, ribs and vertebrae of the triceratops.
They’ve already plastered one of the ribs, and plan to move it to the museum in the coming days.
“My deck has turned into a dinosaur party,” joked Richard Shine, who lives across the street from the dig site. “I thought I'm going to start digging up my yard.”
Shine’s elevated patio looks over the site. He’s been spending afternoon looking at what crews are working on through his binoculars.
PREVIOUS STORY: Construction workers unearth rare dinosaur bones in Thornton
“I'm waiting for them to find a T-Rex,” he laughed. “You know this is exciting to have this right across the street.”
You can’t visit this fossil site. Only museum personnel, city of Thornton crews and construction workers are allowed in the area. There’s even security to ensure that this epic find is able to get back to the Denver Museum of Nature and Science, which could happen as early as Friday.
The fossils were first discovered a week ago – and confirmed to be a triceratops on Monday.
“Being part of this excavation means I have an exciting story that I can tell for life,” volunteer and Thornton Fire Public Education Officer Sabrina Iacovetta said in a news release.