Embryonic tyrannosaur fossil found near Morrin

·1 min read

Researchers made a significant discovery after finding the first embryonic tyrannosaur fossil at a site near Morrin.

While the Canadian Badlands are renowned for several fossil discoveries, the finding of embryonic fossils is exceedingly rare.

Second author of the study, and University of Alberta PhD student, Mark Powers told the Mail, “These findings are significant as the first recognized and described embryonic tyrannosaurid material. This is a big discovery in the sense it fills in a gap in our knowledge of tyrannosaur growth.”

Tyrannosaur fossils, from juvenile to adult, have previously been found and Powers says the find was “a rare opportunity for any dinosaur species.”

The toe bone was recovered from a site in the river valley north of Morrin Bridge, which Powers says was “rich in small fossil materials.” Other specimens found at the site include eggshells and embryonic dinosaur bones, as well as teeth from troodon--relatives of the raptor.

The fossilized jawbone of a juvenile tyrannosaur was also discovered in Montana and was included in the study.

Crews were unable to return to the dig site in 2020 due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

“It is our plan to return to search the site of the tyrannosaur claw for more embryonic dinosaur material,” Powers said, adding they are hopeful to return this year.

Lacie Nairn, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Drumheller Mail