Harrison Duran dug up the skull during a paleontology dig.
A 23-year-old college student made a very rare discovery on a recent paleontology dig in the badlands of North Dakota. Harrison Duran, a fifth year biology student at the University Of California, Merced uncovered a 65 million-year-old Triceratops skull during a paleontology dig. “I can’t quite express my excitement in that moment when we uncovered the skull,” Duran said in a school news release. “I’ve been obsessed with dinosaurs since I was a kid, so it was a pretty big deal.”
Duran was accompanied by a professor from the University of North Dakota, Michael Kjelland, who's an experienced excavator. Duran's been to this area before but his first excursion to this area turned out quite fruitful. "I have been going out to the badlands for years off and on, but to this particular site it was the first time," Kjelland told CNN.
Duran explained that the discovery gave him a better idea of the environment in the Cretaceous era. "It is wonderful that we found fossilized wood and tree leaves right around, and even under, the skull," said Duran. "It gives us a more complete picture of the environment at the time."
Duran and Kjelland found Fossil Excavators Organization together which discovers and preserves fossils. The duo plan to search for more fossils but they plan to keep the exact location under wraps out of fear that someone will steal the bones.