THORNTON, Colo. – Construction crews working on a new public safety facility in the Colorado city of Thornton uncovered a rare dinosaur fossil, according to KDVR.
Crews working at the site found what appeared to be a triceratops skull and skeleton on Friday.
Scientists from the Denver Museum of Nature & Science went to the site and confirmed the find.
“My heart was racing,” DMNS Curator of Dinosaurs Joe Sertich said in a statement released to the media. “I realized it was a pretty important dinosaur find.”
“This is probably one of only three skulls of triceratops found along the Front Range area,” Sertich said.
Most fossil finds along the Front Range – part of the Southern Rocky Mountains – are from the Ice Age, between 10,000 and 12,000 years old, but this fossil is much older, and much rarer, according to Sertich.
“This dinosaur has been laying here for at least 66 million years,” says Sertich. “I’m over the moon right now about this dinosaur fossil.”
Construction crews have stopped work in the area of the fossil, officials with the City of Thornton confirmed.
“The DMNS scientists will stabilize the area, carefully expose the fossil, look for any other bones that remain uncovered, and safely extract them,” city officials stated.
Scientists hope to eventually house the fossil at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science.