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Leduc hadrosaur marks Alberta's 2nd fossil find in a month

A dinosaur skeleton turned up by construction workers south of Edmonton is the second major fossil find in Alberta in a month.

Construction workers dig up hadrosaur south of Edmonton

A dinosaur skeleton turned up by construction workers south of Edmonton marks the second major fossil find in Alberta in a month.

Workers building a housing development in Leduc, about 35 kilometres south of Edmonton, uncovered what paleontologists believe is a hadrosaur fossil – a duck-billed dinosaur that lived about 68 million years ago.

It’s been an incredible year for dinosaur finds.- Andrew Neuman, Royal Tyrrell Museum

Hadrosaurs roamed throughout western North America and measured up to 12 metres long.

Degner Construction called the Royal Tyrell Museum on Oct. 23 after workers digging a trench for a new housing development came upon a series of fossils about six metres below the surface.

Under the keen eyes of museum staff, workers used a large excavator to remove the soil, rock and other material above the fossil.

Yesterday, the tail, hips and some skull elements were removed and taken to the museum at Drumheller, Alta., where they will be stored while being prepared for further study.

It's the second time hadrosaur remains have been discovered in Alberta within a month, with the first found at Spirit River, near Grande Prairie, on Oct. 1.

“It’s been an incredible year for dinosaur finds,” Andrew Neuman, executive director of the Royal Tyrrell Museum, said in news release. “This surge in fossil finds has supplemented our own work this field season due in part to increased awareness and diligence among industry and keen-eyed amateurs.”

Alberta's Minister of Culture Heather Klimchuk praised the construction company for taking the right steps to preserve the specimen.

“Alberta’s ability to be successful in preserving and protecting valuable paleontological resources depends on the co-operation of industry and the public," she said. "Degner Construction is to be commended for recognizing and taking the right steps to alert the Royal Tyrrell Museum.”

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