The crew halted work and called in someone who knew about dinosaurs. Paleontologist Matthew Vavrek was astonished at what he found at the site.
"As we walked around it, we saw this whole part of a tail of a dinosaur. To see something like that is pretty incredible," Vavrek said.
A complete 35-foot dinosaur may lie beneath the rock.
"The last time I've seen something like that was in a museum. I've never found something like this before," Vavrek. Finds such as this are extremely rare.
If the backhoe operator hadn't stopped when he did, the fossil would have been destroyed. The Tourmaline Oil Corp has offered its workers and machinery to help Vavrek and his team extract the fragile fossil.
If there is a complete dinosaur buried there, Vavrek expects it would be about mid-size for a dinosaur, or perhaps a little larger.
After carting away the bones and surrounding soil, Vavrek says, identification and study could take years.
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