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Thinking he had simply chipped off a section of rock, the backhoe operator laid the piece to the side and turned to resume excavation work.
That’s when he saw the exposed fossil in the embankment in front of him.
Palaeontologists from the Tyrell Museum and National Geographic arrived at the site Wednesday and will soon be joined by Pipestone Creek Dinosaur Initiative head palaeontologist, Dr. Matthew Vavrek.
The hadrosaurs are known as the duck-billed dinosaurs due to the similarity of their head to that of modern ducks. In some genera, most notably Anatotitan, the whole front of the skull was flat and broadened out to form a beak, which was ideal for clipping leaves and twigs from the forests of Asia, Europe and North America. However, the back of the mouth contained thousands of teeth suitable for grinding food before it was swallowed. This has been hypothesized to have been a crucial factor in the success of this group in the Cretaceous compared to the sauropods, which were still largely dependent on gastroliths for grinding their food.