A lot of people grow up with different dreams, some dream famous musicians or actors, some dream to be sports men or women, some dream t

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A lot of people grow up with different dreams, some dream famous musicians or actors, some dream to be sports men or women, some dream to be computer geniuses, then they’re some that dream to be groundbreaking scientists, they dream of making huge discoveries and while some of them achieve their goals eventually, very few do it at age 12! This is what young Canadian boy Nathan Hrushkin achieved.
Nathan Hrushkin and his Dad, Dion Hrushkin.
Nathan Hrushkin has always wanted to be a paleontologist and has been interested in dinosaurs since he was six, he often goes hiking in the Nature Conservancy of Canada’s protected site in the Albertan Badlands with his father. He made the discovery of his still very young life when he found a dinosaur skeleton dating back to 69 Million years! He was as shocked as the rarity of his discovery was shocking. The Royal Tyrrell museum located in Alberta and deliver to the study of prehistoric life claims that the dinosaur is scientifically significant, because the fossil is about 69 million years old, and records from that point period are very rare.

The bone from a young Hadrosaur found by Nathan.

A computer generated recreation of a Hadrosaur.

“This young Hadrosaur is a very significant discovery as it comes from a time interval for which we have very little knowledge about what kind of dinosaurs or animals lived in Alberta. Nathan and Dion’s find will help us fill this huge gap in our knowledge of dinosaur evolution,” the museum’s palaeo-ecology curator, François Therrien, said in a statement released by the museum.

Computer generated image of a Tyrannosaurus Rex.
Dinosaurs are a diverse group of prehistoric reptiles thought by scientists to have lived and dominated the earth about 233 – 240 million years ago.

Fossils which are remains of bones, skeleton and exoskeleton, rock impressions have been the main way palaeontologists have used to study dinosaurs. In some cases whole skeletons have been found by discoverers enabling palaeontologists to recreate the perceived shape of the dinosaur. Tyrannosaurus is a very popular genus (Tyrannosaurus Rex is a species) and is of course Nathan’s favourite. The Hadrosaurs, or duck-billed dinosaurs, are a lesser known group and received their name from their broad, flattened, elongated snouts and their toothless beaks.

On Thursday the 15th of October 2020, the skeleton’s excavation was completed by the team from the museum and at an interview with the BBC Nathan narrated how he felt after the discovery. When he first laid eyes on the bones, he was shocked and speechless.

He told the BBC that he wasn’t really even excited even though he knew he should have been given the gravity of the discovery.

“I was in so much shock that I had actually found a dinosaur discovery,” he said in the interview, “I’ve always just been so fascinated with how their bones go from bones like ours, to solid rock.”

A year ago, they (Nathan and his dad) had found small fragments of fossils while hiking and his father guessed that they were falling down from the rock above.

This summer Nathan decided to examine the site further and found the fossilised bones were poking out of the side of a hill.

“He called down to me, he’s like, ‘Dad, you need to get up here,’ as soon as I heard that I could tell from the tone of his voice that he had found something,” his father, Dion said to CNN.

Nathan said the fossil was very apparent and obvious it seemed like “a scene on a television show or a cartoon or something.”

“They looked like bones made of stone – you could not mistake them for anything else,” Dion Hrushkin said.
“It looked like the end of a femur – it had that classic bone look to it – poking straight out of the ground.” He described in the interview with BBC.

Nathan and his dad knew that the fossils are protected by law, so they got home and logged in their discovery on the website for the Royal Tyrrell Museum. The museum advised them to send photos of their discovery and its GPS coordinates, which they immediately and carefully did.

Nathan soon found out that he’d come across the bones of a young hadrosaur, or duck-billed dinosaur.

The Badlands where the dinosaur remains were found are home to several fossils, and a dinosaur – named the Albertosaurus – was discovered by Joseph Tyrell back in the late 1800s. But the part of the conservation site where Nathan and dad were walking wasn’t known for fossil discoveries, therefore the museum sent a team of experts to excavate.

The crew has been working at the location for about two months and uncovered somewhere between 30 and 50 bones that came from a single young Hadrosaur that was about three or four years old, according to the statement released.

Hadrosaur (the species found by Nathan and his dad found) bones are the most common fossils found in Alberta’s badlands, but few juvenile skeletons have been found, the statement said. It was also found inside a layer of rock that rarely preserves fossils. The fossils were very approximately close together, therefore the paleontologists removed large pieces of the encompassing rock from the canyon walls.

The bones were then covered carefully in a protective jacket of burlap and plaster, so they could be taken to the museum at Alberta for cleanup and further study.

One of the fossil-rich slabs weighed about 1,000 pounds and was more than four feet wide, according to Carys Richards, a communications manager with the NCC.

Nathan and his dad went to the site to watch the dig several times since the discovery and were there on Thursday when the team was hauling out the last specimens.

“It was pretty fun to be there and watch them do their things,” Nathan told CNN.

For Nathan, the find summed up just about everything he loves about the topic and was everything bit as exciting as he imagined.

“I am fascinated about how bones from creatures that lived tens of millions of years ago become these fossil rocks, which are just sitting on the ground waiting to be found,” he said to People magazine.


By: Jojo Favoured


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