HIGHLANDS RANCH, Colo. (CBS4) – The fossils found in Highlands Ranch have been successfully transported to the Denver Museum of Nature and Science, but the search for more will continue.
The fossils were discovered at a construction site near Wind Crest at Santa Fe Drive and C-470.
“We found some really nice ribs we found some really nice limb elements, so as a reminder we found the upper arm bone, the lower leg bone. We think part of the dinosaur’s hips and then some miscellaneous skull pieces also but we’re still missing quite a bit the dino,” said Natalie Toth, the Chief Fossil Preparator for the Denver Museum of Nature and Science.
Brinkman Constructors along with property owners, Wind Crest, have been working alongside the museum to accommodate the dig and plan to help as long as the museum needs.
The entire morning Wednesday, heavy equipment operators helped load the casted fossils onto a trailer headed for the museum and then continued the search for more fossils.
“As you can see he’s taking things down just a few inches at a time and these guys are just incredible at operating the equipment, we’re so grateful so yeah we just watch as they slowly scrape away the surface and we look for any sign of bone as they’re flattening out the platform here.”
Not only do they hope to find more fossils, Toth says there’s a fossil they’re working on that extends much deeper than originally thought. They have yet to determine what it is.
“We have not found any new bones since we’ve loaded the bones in the trailer this morning; however, you might be able to see, there’s one little plaster cap over there of a bone we haven’t removed quite yet and so again our hope is that as we continue to peel back these layers of rock that we’ll find more of where that bone came from,” said Toth.
Toth says it’s never an easy decision to walk away from a dig, but for now, the plan is to keep going.
“It is a hard decision to make you know, you always have that innate curiosity where you’re like, ‘okay just a few more feet and maybe we’ll bump into something’! Traditionally, the rule of thumb is a meter or two beyond the last found bone and so that’s what we’re aiming for today. Especially, kind of on this lookers left side of the quarry over here, we’re hoping that as we continue to break up the rock and look for bone that we’ll find hopefully some more stuff in there but it’s hard to say until we actually get in there. “
It’s too soon to say what type of dinosaur this was, but right now the experts believe it was a horned dinosaur. It’s likely something similar to a triceratops or a torosaurus, discovered in Thornton two years ago.