HIGHLANDS RANCH, Colo. (CBS4)– While the dig continues for dinosaur fossils, it’s just one of several projects the Denver Museum of Nature and Science is working on during “digging season” in neighboring states. Dinosaur fossils were discovered May 17 at a construction site near Wind Crest at Santa Fe Drive and C-470, and crews keep finding more bones.
“Normally we kick off our dinosaur dig season in late April, early May. This year was no different. We stared digging down in Utah at a couple of sites that are 82 million years old,” said Dr. Joe Sertich, the Curator of Dinosaurs at DMNS.
Earlier this year, DMNS received federal approval to fly a helicopter into remote areas of wilderness where digs have been taking place for years.
“Those skeletons have been sitting out in the badlands in New Mexico and Utah for years and years and we just got clearance to go out and get those,” Sertich said. “About three days after we got back from that we got this dig down here in Highlands Ranch.”
Museum officials and volunteer crews haven’t had a moment to rest. The Highlands Ranch dig has continued to yield significant discoveries. On Friday vertebrae, neck, and a frill of a horned dinosaur were found. This after more bones were unearthed on Wednesday and Thursday.
“We have a ton of volunteers. We couldn’t do what we do out here without our volunteer corp. they’re all really well trained. They’ve dug in everything from muddy sand like this site to really dry deserts,” Sertich said. “By September, October we’ll be in Utah again helicoptering into the backcountry again to dig a new species of horned dinosaur, we’ve got an armored dinosaur, and a huge crocodile.”
Crews will dig into next week in Highlands Ranch, and museum officials say they’re hoping to be able to show some cleaning work happening in the prep lab with public viewing of the Highlands Ranch dig soon.