Teacher finds possible first-of-its kind dino skull in Western Colorado
If researcher Kent Hups’ hunch is correct, his latest scientific find could be the first of its kind in the world.
Hups, a high school teacher in Westminster, has become well-known in paleontological circles for his rare finds in western Colorado.
Now Hups believes he may have uncovered skull material from a armadillo-like dinosaur — the back of an ankylosaur dinosaur skull.
The process to verify whether the find is a piece of the dinosaur’s skull will take more than a year, Hups said.
“There’s no skulls of this kind anywhere in the world,” he said, while showing members of the media the more than 100-pound rock thought to contain the skull. “That’s why we get excited if we see this kind of skull. I was an inch away and I was looking in the area for 16 years. It’s about being in the right place at the right time. If we can confirm what it is, it will be very amazing.”
Hups, Mike Pickering, Kelly Pickering, and Hups’ fellow teacher, Mitch Davis, came across the piece about two weeks ago while searching for fossils in the Dominguez-Escalante National Conservation Area.
The group used a rock saw to cut away the bone from a massive, sandstone boulder and extract the relatively smaller, watermelon-sized rock.
The rock containing the bone will be taken to the Denver Museum of Nature and Science, where scientists will determine its authenticity.
If it is determined to be skull material of the ankylosaur dinosaur, the piece will be put on display at Fruita’s Dinosaur Journey Museum, Hups said.