My memory is pretty vague when it comes to my early childhood, but one thing I do remember is loving being outdoors and getting dirty. I used to dig stuff up, climb trees to see what was in them, and pretty much was filthy all the time. As the old saying goes, boys will be boys and that’s exactly what 4-year-old Wylie Brys was doing when he happened upon a 100-million-year-old Nodosaurus dinosaur fossil in Mansfield, Texas.
Wylie and his father Tim Brys, a zookeeper at the Dallas Zoo, were poking around the back of a shopping center when they made the discovery. When Wylie brought some of the Nodosaurus fossil to his father, Tim thought he had found an old turtle fossil. Tim contacted Southern Methodist University and worked with them to begin excavation of the area and the fossil is being preserved until more research can be conducted on it.
Nodosaurus (meaning “knobbed lizard”) was a genus of herbivorous ankylosaurian dinosaur from the Late Cretaceous, the fossils of which are found in North America. One incomplete specimen has been discovered in the Frontier Formation of Wyoming. One of the first armored dinosaurs to be discovered in North America, Nodosaurus was named by Othniel Charles Marsh in 1889.
This nodosaurid ankylosaur was about 13 to 20 feet (4.0 to 6.1 m) long. It was an ornithischian dinosaur with bony dermal plates covering the top of its body, and it may have had spikes along its side as well. The dermal plates were arranged in bands along its body, with narrow bands over the ribs alternating with wider plates in between. These wider plates were covered in regularly arranged bony nodules, which give the animal its scientific name.
It looks like little Wylie may have a future in paleontology after discovering a very rare fossil at just the age of 4! Good thing he has a father that seems to enjoy the same subject matter and it’s awesome to see kids take in interest in these things over video games and the Internet. What do you think of little Wylie’s discovery? Let us know in the comments below or on Google+, Facebook, and Twitter.
Featured image courtesy of customstoday.com