Peering inside a dinosaur mummy

Paleontologists put 75-million-year-old hadrosaur skull fragment through CT scanner to solve a puzzle of preservation.

By Geoff McMaster on October 10, 2012

(Edmonton) When it opens next July, Grande Prairie’s hottest new attraction will bear the name of the U of A’s own star of paleontology—Philip Currie. Near an exceptional dinosaur-bone bed known as the River of Death and covering 41,000 square feet, the Philip J. Currie Dinosaur Museum will house fossils from the area as well as state-of-the art research and educational facilities. The $27-million project recently even drew on the fundraising efforts of celebrities Lorne Michaels, creator of Saturday Night Live, and comic Dan Aykroyd, a dinosaur enthusiast.

Phil Bell, who graduated just last year with a doctorate completed under Currie, now works in Grande Prairie for the Pipestone Creek Dinosaur Initiative, digging up specimens in one of the richest fossil beds in the world. In this video, Bell runs a piece of mummified hadrosaur through a CT scanner with the help of two UAlberta PhD students in paleontology.

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Video: UAlberta paleontologist Phil Currie