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A massive triceratops skull has been discovered, and you’ll never guess by who. Seriously.
A fifth-year biology student from California, travelling to North Dakota for a paleontology dig, probably didn’t think he would be discovering a 65-million-year-old Triceratops skull.
Luckily for him, he did discover a 65-million-year-old Triceratops skull, which hasn’t seen sunlight until Harrison Duran, a self-professed “dinosaur lover,” discovered it on Wednesday.
“I can’t quite express my excitement in that moment when we uncovered the skull,” he said in a news release from the University of California, Merced on Wednesday. “I’ve been obsessed with dinosaurs since I was a kid, so it was a pretty big deal.”
Duran, who went on a two-week fossil hunt under the supervision of experienced excavators and biology professors, found the fossil which he has now nicknamed “Alice” in Hell Creek, a fossil “hot spot.”
“It is wonderful that we found fossilized wood and tree leaves right around, and even under, the skull,” Duran said in the statement. “It gives us a more complete picture of the environment at the time.”
One of the supervisors and Duran’s professors, Michael Kjelland, also discovered a Triceratops skull last year, but this was the first fossil hunt in this particular area.
“I have been going out to the badlands for years off and on, but to this particular site it was the first time,” he said to CNN.
They found the skull on the fourth day of their dig early last month. According to CNN, “it took a week to fully excavate it due to its fragility.”
“It would be amazing for UC Merced to be able to display Alice on campus,” Duran said. “It’s such a rare opportunity to showcase something like this, and I’d like to share it with the campus community.”