DALLAS (AP) — Scientists from Southern Methodist University have helped a Dallas zookeeper and his 5-year-old son excavate a dinosaur fossil they found behind a grocery store in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.
The Dallas Morning News (http://bit.ly/1aJXuYA ) reports that Tim Brys and his son Wylie worked at the excavation site Tuesday to dig up what paleontology professor Dale Winkler believes could be a nodosaur, a pony-sized dinosaur that dwelled on land.
Brys and his son discovered the fossil last September, but it took over seven months to obtain necessary permits to dig up the bones. Scientists started digging last Friday.
At the time, the zookeeper was not sure what his son had found, so the two kept digging because they knew there was a chance of finding Jurassic period marine life remnants in the area.
"He walked up ahead of me and found a piece of bone," Brys said. "It was a pretty good size and I knew I had something interesting."
"My dad told me it was a turtle," Wylie said Tuesday at the site of his discovery. "But now he's telling me it's a dinosaur."
University experts say it is rare to find a dinosaur in this area.
The fossils, which are believed to be about 100 million years old, were wrapped in burlap and plaster to create a protective shell around the bones. They will be transported to Southern Methodist University for cleaning and assembly.
Winkler says excavation will continue at the site for the next week or so before construction crews continue building in the area, but that it is unlikely for another dinosaur to be discovered at that site.
Information from: The Dallas Morning News, http://www.dallasnews.com