DENVER — The remains of a Triceratops discovered in Highlands Ranch in May might not belong to a Triceratops after all.
According to Salvador Bastien, a fossil preparator at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science, it’s too early to tell if the animal is indeed a Triceratops.
"The truth is: we’re not 100% sure it’s a Triceratops at this point. So there’s a chance we could find out it’s something completely different, which I think is cool,” Bastien said. "We can’t rule out the possibility it’s a completely different species no one’s ever seen before."
At this point, however, the museum is calling it a ‘Triceratops.'
Volunteers in the fossil preparation lab (within the museum) have already started working on clearing off parts of the dinosaur’s face.
“[We have] a good portion of the skull, which is really important in telling us how the animal lived,” Bastien said. "We were all surprised to see how massive, how beautiful those bones are".
The remains were discovered at a construction site in Highlands Ranch last month. The museum was able to recover about 30% of the dinosaur.
Scientists estimate the fossils are somewhere between 66-68 million years old. It’s still unclear how the dinosaur died.
"It’s a possibility as we clean it up, we might find some hints,” Bastien said.
It could take up to a year, if not more, for the museum to go over all of the remains it has collected.