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Triceratops fossil excavation concludes in Highlands Ranch

Posted: 10:32 AM, Jul 16, 2019
Updated: 2019-07-16 13:00:27-04
Dino dig Highlands Ranch
HIghlands Ranch dino dig 2
HIghlands Ranch dino dig 3

HIGHLANDS RANCH, Colo. — The Denver Museum of Nature & Science said it has concluded its excavation of Triceratops fossils at a retirement community in Highlands Ranch.

Tyler Lyson, the museum’s curator of vertebrate paleontology, said they dug up “nicely preserved vertebra” at Wind Crest, a continuing care retirement community.

The fossils were first discovered at a construction site on the private land in late May. They were identified a few weeks later as belonging to a large adult Triceratops.

“We again express our sincere gratitude to the staff and residents of the Wind Crest community and to Brinkmann Constructors for allowing us to excavate the fossils,” Lyson said. “Thank you especially to the Erickson Living team for donating the fossils to the museum.”

Photo gallery: Excavation site of Triceratops fossils in Highlands Ranch

Erickson Living, which owns the land, was tasked with deciding what to do with the fossils.

“The discovery and excavation of the Triceratops fossils on campus has been a thrilling experience for our residents and staff,” said Craig Erickson, executive director at Wind Crest. “It is our honor to donate these incredible artifacts to the Denver Museum of Nature & Science for further study. We are grateful to the museum’s expert staff and the team at Brinkmann Constructors for their partnership in preserving this important part of Colorado history and sharing it with the greater community.”

Some of these fossils are on display in the museum’s fossil preparation lab on the third floor. In this lab, volunteers work to clean and stabilize fossils before they’re added to the collection for research and possible displays.

Parts of triceratops found in Highlands Ranch
Parts of triceratops found in Highlands Ranch