Boy, 12, finds dinosaur skeleton of 'great significance' while out hiking

An orange and brown fossil can be seen rising from rocky ground

An orange and brown fossil can be seen rising from rocky ground

Nathan Hrushkin saw the fossils sticking out of a rock while walking through Horseshoe Canyon in Canada's Alberta province with his dad.

In June, 12-year-old Nathan Hrushkin and his father, Dion, discovered the partially exposed bones of a juvenile hadrosaur at the Nature Conservancy of Canada's Nodwell property near Drumheller, Alberta.

He says Nathan and his father did a wonderful job in reporting this exciting find.

"I wasn't even excited, even though I know I should have [been]".

"This is very significant for the Nature Conservancy of Canada, because when we talk about land conservation we talk often about the benefit for future generations, but this is a really good opportunity to point out how conserving important landscapes also help us unearth mysteries of our planet's history", Carys Richards the communications manager with the Nature Conservancy of Canada, told CTV.

"I've always just been so fascinated with how their bones go from bones like ours, to solid rock".

Nathan was prompted to inspect the area, because a year ago they had found small fragments of fossils, which his father surmised were falling down from the rock above, the report said.

So Nathan made a decision to check out the place this summer. The fossilised bones were poking out of the side of a hill.

When Nathan called to his father, "Dad, you have to come up here", the father knew from his son's tone that he had found something.

Nathan Hrushkin and his father, Dion.

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After months of work by technicians from the museum the bones are in protective plaster jackets and being moved out of the canyon to the museum where they'll be worked on for well over a year.

"It looked like the end of the thigh bone and was sticking out from the ground".

Nathan had heard of the hadrosaur before his big find but said it wasn't the most well-known dinosaur.

Nathan realizes that the excavations are protected by law, so when he returns home, he walks into the site of the Royal Terrell Museum in Alberta, which is concerned with the study of prehistoric life and then asked him to send pictures and coordinates of the site, and he did so. The museum advised them to send photos of their discovery and its Global Positioning System coordinates, which they duly did.

They logged the find with the Royal Tyrrell Museum, in the nearby town of Drumheller, which then asked for photos and Global Positioning System coordinates, before sending a team to inspect further.

So far, 30 to 50 pieces of bone have been found, all of them belonging to a young "hadrosaur" dinosaur, aged between three and four years.

Most importantly, the Hruskins did not touch or disturb the fossils.

The discovery of the hadrosaur was made on the Nodwell property of the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC), named after Leila Nodwell.

"What's interesting about this find is that it comes from a time interval for which we know very little about what dinosaur species lived in Western North America during that time period. Nathan and Dion's find will help us fill this big gap in our knowledge of dinosaur evolution", the museum's palaeo-ecology curator, François Therrien, said in a statement.

According to the report, Nathan describes the whole process as having been "surreal".

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