An excavating miner accidentally uncovered one of the most well-preserved dinosaurs ever found.
Shawn Funk was working at the Millennium Mine March 21, 2011 when he unearthed a 110-million-year-old horned and armored tank-like dinosaur in nearly perfectly preserved condition, according to National Geographic.
“It was like a ‘Game of Thrones’ dragon,” Robert Clark, who photographed the fossil for National Geographic said. “It was so dimensional, like a prop from a movie.”
The new species of nodosaur, an armored dinosaur, was an herbivore that walked on four legs and weighed an estimated 3,000 pounds, according to National Geographic. The petrified remains weigh close to that at 2,500 pounds. It is about 18 feet long.
Scientists believe the nodosaur was swept out to sea, where it drowned. Minerals took the place of its scaly skin, helping to preserve it in a lifelike state for millions of years.
It took researchers 7,000 hours to piece together the fossilized remains which were unveiled Friday at the Royal Tyrrell Museum as part of the “Ground for Discovery” exhibit, which has displays of fossils found during construction and excavation work.
“We don’t just have a skeleton,” Caleb Brown, a researcher at the museum, told National Geographic. “We have a dinosaur as it would have been.”