By Tim Binnall
A college student from California with a lifelong love of dinosaurs hit pay dirt during a recent paleontology dig in North Dakota when he discovered a massive Triceratops skull. UC Merced undergrad Harrison Duran reportedly made the remarkable find last month as he and fellow fossil hunter Michael Kjelland were excavating an area, known as the Hell Creek Formation, where numerous dinosaur remains have been recovered in the past.
On the fourth day of the dig, the duo were astounded when Duran spotted something unusual in the dirt and, upon further excavating, realized that it was a Triceratops skull believed to be around 65 million years old. "I can't quite express my excitement in that moment," he marveled, "I've been obsessed with dinosaurs since I was a kid, so it was a pretty big deal." Following a full week of work from Duran and Kjelland were able to extract the skull from the ground.
The fossil, dubbed 'Alice' after the woman who owns the property and allowed them to dig there, was treated with a special glue to keep it intact, then wrapped in bubble wrap, and spirited off to a secret location before it could be transported to a lab owned by Kjelland. The pair plan to further restore the skull and hope to display the awe-inspiring find at museums and educational institutions rather than attempt to profit off of what is undoubtedly a priceless piece of the past.