Volunteers, scientists uncover more of rare triceratops fossil found in Thornton

THORNTON, Colo. — Trained volunteers are helping scientists from the Denver Museum of Nature and Science to uncover a rare fossil found in Thornton.

Construction workers found the fossil on Friday while digging holes for a new public safety building at East 132nd Avenue and Quebec Street.

“We were digging in an area where we kept finding bone fragments, then we found something bigger,” said Sabrina Iacovetta, a Thornton Fire public education officer who is a volunteer at the dig. “We called over the DMNS scientist, who told us we found a part of the jaw and a vertebrae.”

Museum officials confirmed the bones were part of a triceratops skull and skeleton. It is believed to be about 66 million years old.

DMNS began excavating the fossilized remains Wednesday.

On Thursday, officials said the scientists and volunteers are finding more of the triceratops.

(Photo: City of Thornton)

The museum shared videos showing crews using shovels, picks, brooms and paintbrushes to remove dirt surrounding the ancient bones.

One worker was carefully digging around the dinosaur's rib cage.

The city of Thornton is providing security at the site to ensure the items make it safely to its new home at the museum.

Only museum personnel, city of Thornton crews and construction personnel are permitted on the site.