A 12-year-old found a 69 million-year-old dinosaur fossil while hiking with his dad

Nathan Hrushkin has wanted to be a paleontologist for as long as he can remember, and the 12-year-old has already made a significant discovery.He foun...

Posted: Oct 16, 2020 8:56 AM
Updated: Oct 16, 2020 12:45 PM

Nathan Hrushkin has wanted to be a paleontologist for as long as he can remember, and the 12-year-old has already made a significant discovery.

He found a partially unearthed dinosaur fossil while hiking with his dad this summer at a conservation site in the Horseshoe Canyon in the Badlands of Alberta, Canada.

'It's pretty amazing to find something that's like real, like an actual dinosaur discovery,' he told CNN. 'It's kind of been my dream for a while.'

Nathan is a seventh grader in Calgary, which is about an hour-and-a-half away.

The fossil was a humerus bone from the arm of a juvenile hadrosaur -- a duck-billed dinosaur that lived about 69 million years ago, according to a news release from the Nature Conservancy of Canada.

Nathan and his dad, Dion, had found bone fragments in the area on a previous hike and thought that they might have washed down from farther up the hill.

They were just finishing lunch when Nathan climbed up the hill to take a look.

'He called down to me, he's like, 'Dad, you need to get up here,' and as soon as he said that I could tell by the tone in his voice that he found something,' Dion Hrushkin said.

Nathan said the fossil was very obvious and it looked like 'a scene on a TV show or a cartoon or something.'

They sent pictures of the bone to the Royal Tyrrell Museum of Paleontology, which identified the fossil and sent a team of paleontologists to the site.

Fossils are protected by law in Alberta, and the NCC said that it is important that people don't disturb any fossils they may find.

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

Hadrosaur 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 in a layer of rock that rarely preserves fossils.

'This young hadrosaur is a very important discovery because it comes from a time interval for which we know very little about what kind of dinosaurs or animals lived in Alberta,' François Therrien, the Royal Tyrrell Museum's curator of dinosaur palaeoecology, said in the statement. 'Nathan and Dion's find will help us fill this big gap in our knowledge of dinosaur evolution.'

The fossils were very close together, so the paleontologists removed large pieces of the surrounding rock from the canyon walls.

The bones were then covered in a protective jacket of burlap and plaster, so they could be taken to the museum 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 had heard of the hadrosaur before his big find but said it wasn't the most well-known dinosaur.

It's probably his favorite now -- beating out the wildly popular Tyrannosaurus rex.

Nathan and his dad have come 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 said.

West Lafayette
Clear
70° wxIcon
Hi: 89° Lo: 67°
Feels Like: 70°
Kokomo
Clear
67° wxIcon
Hi: 85° Lo: 66°
Feels Like: 67°
Rensselaer
Clear
64° wxIcon
Hi: 83° Lo: 64°
Feels Like: 64°
Fowler
Clear
70° wxIcon
Hi: 86° Lo: 67°
Feels Like: 70°
Williamsport
Clear
68° wxIcon
Hi: 88° Lo: 66°
Feels Like: 68°
Crawfordsville
Clear
66° wxIcon
Hi: 87° Lo: 65°
Feels Like: 66°
Frankfort
Partly Cloudy
66° wxIcon
Hi: 86° Lo: 65°
Feels Like: 66°
Delphi
Clear
66° wxIcon
Hi: 88° Lo: 66°
Feels Like: 66°
Monticello
Clear
66° wxIcon
Hi: 89° Lo: 67°
Feels Like: 66°
Logansport
Clear
64° wxIcon
Hi: 86° Lo: 65°
Feels Like: 64°
Record heat expected over the weekend.
WLFI Temps
WLFI Planner

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 749097

Reported Deaths: 13745
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion1030271775
Lake554211006
Allen41613691
St. Joseph36933564
Hamilton36505416
Elkhart29347459
Tippecanoe22849225
Vanderburgh22540400
Porter19313325
Johnson18386387
Hendricks17583317
Clark13190193
Madison13111344
Vigo12602253
LaPorte12385221
Monroe12152175
Delaware10947197
Howard10250225
Kosciusko9609119
Hancock8541144
Bartholomew8158157
Warrick7854156
Floyd7763180
Grant7227179
Wayne7154201
Boone6911103
Morgan6735141
Dubois6211118
Marshall6205116
Cass5989108
Henry5893108
Dearborn588878
Noble579786
Jackson508374
Shelby500697
Lawrence4727121
Gibson444093
Harrison440473
Clinton439855
DeKalb438585
Montgomery433890
Whitley405642
Huntington402181
Steuben398659
Miami392568
Jasper386254
Knox375690
Putnam371860
Wabash360583
Ripley346470
Adams344955
Jefferson335685
White329753
Daviess3028100
Wells294881
Decatur289992
Greene286385
Fayette284664
Posey273735
LaGrange272872
Scott269855
Clay265448
Randolph244683
Washington244534
Jennings235149
Spencer234131
Starke227558
Fountain218347
Sullivan213943
Owen210858
Fulton201542
Jay200832
Carroll193420
Orange188055
Perry186937
Rush175626
Vermillion173544
Franklin170135
Tipton165746
Parke148916
Pike137934
Blackford136032
Pulaski120047
Newton112636
Brown103943
Crawford102316
Benton100814
Martin91415
Warren83515
Switzerland8098
Union72810
Ohio57811
Unassigned0421

COVID-19 Important links and resources

As the spread of COVID-19, or as it's more commonly known as the coronavirus continues, this page will serve as your one-stop for the resources you need to stay informed and to keep you and your family safe. CLICK HERE

Closings related to the prevention of the COVID-19 can be found on our Closings page.

Community Events