Washington gets it first dino
Washington gets it first dino Burke Museum Paleontologists, Brandon Peecook, left, and Dr. Christian Sidor, right, the first to identify a bone found by a Burke Museum research team on the shores of Sucia Island State Park, discuss the fossil (AP photos)
Washington gets it first dino
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Scientists say they've discovered Washington state's first dinosaur fossil. The announcement marks a unique find for the state. Its a rare moment for North America's Pacific coast.

Paleontologists at Seattle's Burke Museum said that the bone fragment is 80 million years old. It probably belonged to an older, smaller cousin of the Tyrannosaurus rex.

Dinosaur fossils are particularly rare along this side of the continent. Isolated skeletons and bones have been discovered at about only 10 sites near the shoreline.

Scientists think Earth's continents have shifted since dinosaurs roamed 240 million to 66 million years ago. They theorize that the area could have been underwater or otherwise uninhabitable.

Washington state's first dinosaur comes a little more than a year after a 16,000-year-old mammoth tusk was found at a Seattle construction site.

The bone fragment was uncovered at Sucia Island State Park. That is on the San Juan Islands. It comes from the late Cretaceous period. The findings were detailed online in the science journal PLOS ONE.

Researchers have been examining the nearly 17-inch-long, 9-inch-wide fragment for about three years. They say it probably came from a 3-foot thigh bone.

Scientists haven't been able to identify what specific dinosaur the fossil comes from. It's just a fragment. But they're certain it belonged to a theropod. That's a group of two-legged carnivores.

The creature probably died on land. Then it likely washed out to sea. There, it took a beating, scientists say. The fragment was the only fossil uncovered at the site.

"This fossil won't win a beauty contest," Christian Sidor said in a statement. He is the Burke paleontologist who co-wrote the journal article. "But fortunately it preserves enough anatomy that we were able to compare it to other dinosaurs and be confident of its identification."

Critical thinking challenge: Why are fossils rare along this side of the continent?

Source URL: https://www.tweentribune.com/article/tween56/washington-gets-it-first-dino/

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COMMENTS (97)
  • CharlieW-1
    5/28/2015 - 11:28 p.m.

    A dinosaur fossile was discovered in Washington D.C. It was the first one dino fossike ever discovered in D.C. It is a rare thing for something like that to be found in the area. The fossile was found in Sucia Island State Park. The last big discovery was about a year ago when a mammoth tusk was found.

    I liked this article. Hopefully, this will help scientists understand more about dinosaurs.

  • LilyE-4
    5/28/2015 - 11:47 p.m.

    Good news! Scientists have found Washington's first dinosaur bone! The 80 million-year old bone was thought to be a smaller cousin of the T-Rex. Why is it so surprising that they found a dinosaur bone in Washington State? Because scientists believe that the Earth has moved around. At the time, Washington would have been deeply immersed in water, therefore inhabitable for land animals. I think that this is such a coincidence. There is such a small chance of a dinosaur being fossilized in Washington State, and an even smaller chance of people finding it. I think that this article is extremely cool.

  • DylanT-5
    5/28/2015 - 11:56 p.m.

    Scientists recently found the first fossil found in Washington state. It is a unique moment because dinosaur fossils are a very rare find on the pacific coast of North America. Scientists believe that the continents shifted after dinosaurs went extinct, which is why fossils are so rare near the pacific coast. The specific dinosaur as to which the fossil was part of has not been identified yet, but it is known the fossil belonged to a theropod.

    I think it is interesting that we live above the remains of creatures that were many times larger, and more dangerous than us.

  • JonathanAA-4
    5/29/2015 - 12:05 a.m.

    This article is about how scientists are saying that they have discovered Washington state's first dinosaur fossil. This has never happened before so it is a big deal. The fossil was 17 inches long and 9 inches wide. Scientists are saying the fossil came from a 3 foot high thigh bone. I found this article interesting because this has never happened before an it is new and interesting.

  • LucasH-3
    5/29/2015 - 12:45 a.m.

    Scientists claim that they've found Washington state's first dinosaur fossil. It's a rare moment for North America's Pacific Coast. They say the bone fragment is 80 million years old. This fossil comes about A little more than a year since a 16,000 year old mammoth tusk was found at a Seattle construction site. The creature probably died on land, and washed down to the sea.

  • Ethangh-Par
    5/29/2015 - 08:41 a.m.

    They found the first dinosaur bone ever found in Washington, D.C. I thought that was pretty cool and interesting. They haven't been able to find out what specific dinosaur it came from because it's just a fragment

  • Paul-Par
    5/29/2015 - 08:46 a.m.

    I'm confused that Washington just got their first Dino that's where the president of the United States of America lives isn't that supposed to be like the first place to get a dinosaur?

  • MiloW-4
    5/29/2015 - 10:13 a.m.

    washington has found its first dinosaur fossil and has amazed many paleontologists. This fossil is a rare find because not many fossils have been found on the west coast of the United states. I am also amazed at this find because bones have only been found on 10 sites on the whole entire pacific coast.

  • Miah-Pav
    5/29/2015 - 10:37 a.m.

    I think its fascinating that Washington state found their first dinosaur fossil. It's around 80 million year old! I believe this is an amazing find for the paleontologists all through out North America!

  • Josephl-Pav
    5/29/2015 - 10:40 a.m.

    This is very cool. It must be verey exciting to find a fossil in your state. Not everyone has them and it is a big excitement

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