A dinosaur tail fossil was found in Alberta, Canada during a construction project to build an oil pipeline. A worker's backhoe struck something hard and nearly destroyed it, but after investigating and calling experts, it was verified as the rare and complete tail part of a dinosaur.
The dinosaur tail fossil was unearthed in Spirit River in northern Alberta by a worker from the Tourmaline Oil Corp., reporter Canadian news site CBC. The backhoe operator believed he struck some rock, but after getting out, he saw it was a fossil and called Pipestone Creek Dinosaur Initiative paleontologist Dr. Matthew Vavrek, who verified the specimen.
"As we walked around it, we saw this whole part of a tail of a dinosaur," Vavrek told CNN. "To see something like that is pretty incredible. The last I've seen something like that was in a museum."
Other experts like those from the Tyrell Museum, National Geographic, and the nearby Philip J. Currie Dinosaur Museum also saw the tail and helped unearth the discovery.
"What we have is a totally composed tail," Brian Brake, executive director of the Currie Dinosaur Museum, said. "It's beautiful."
Although it could take years to verify which species of dinosaur the tail belongs to, Brake suggested that the fossil could have come from the hadrosaur.
However, there could also be no more buried at the site than what has already been uncovered. Alberta, Canada, is known for various fossils found in the area, but the tail of the dinosaur could be all that is there.
"Sometimes what you see is what you get," Varek said. Still, he called the find rare, as many fossils have been crushed, eroded or otherwise damaged by the time archeologists and paleontologists find them.
The last specimen to be found in the Alberta area was a 4,460-pound triceratops fossil near Drumheller, according to the National Post. The dig took 12 days to fully expose the fossilized bone.