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Fossil preparator dies at Thornton triceratops excavation site

DENVER — Staff at the Denver Museum of Nature of Science are mourning the sudden death of one of it scientists who was working on the historic triceratops dig in Thornton.

The museum said chief fossil preparator Mike Getty died Monday while working at the excavation site.

A statement said Getty, 50, he died as the result of an “unexpected” illness.

“As we mourn the loss of our dear friend and colleague, we send our deepest condolences to the Getty family,” the statement said.

The museum said it will work with Saunders Construction and the city of Thornton to develop a plan for continuing the triceratops fossil excavation.

Construction workers found the fossils on Aug. 25 while digging holes for a new public safety building at East 132nd Avenue and Quebec Street in Thornton.