The AP reports today on what amounts to the holy grail of paleontology: “a nearly complete dinosaur, skin and all.”
The fossil of a duck-billed dinosaur, found in 2004 in North Dakota, is being painstakingly extracted from the surrounding sandstone at the state museum in Bismarck. They’re working carefully and slowly because the fossil is not just of bone, it is of the entire carcass of the dinosaur.
Here’s the intriguing paragraph:
“Animal tissue typically decomposes quickly after death. Researchers say Dakota [the dinosaur] must have been buried rapidly and in just the right environment for the texture of the skin to be preserved.
‘The process of decay was overtaken by that of fossilization, preserving many of the soft-tissue structures,’ Manning said.”
What kind of an event would have caused a thirty-foot long dinosaur to be buried rapidly?
Class? class? anyone…?
Hint: It might have something to do with Ben Stein’s new movie, Expelled.