Dinosaur in North Dakota

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) -- Meticulous work is under way in the basement of North Dakota's state museum to free a dinosaur from a 65-million-year-old rock tomb.

Unlike almost every other dinosaur fossil ever found, the Edmontosaurus named Dakota is covered by fossilized skin that is hard as iron.

Researchers say it's among just a few mummified dinosaurs in the world. They believe this one must have been buried quickly and in just the right environment for the skin to be preserved. Dakota was unearthed on a ranch in the Badlands in 1999.

Workers are using tiny brushes and chisels to pick at the big greenish-black rock that is encasing the duckbilled dinosaur.

It was moved to the museum last month and is now surrounded by precariously perched desk lamps and a machine to suck up dust. A paleontologist says it will take a year, maybe more, to uncover it.

Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

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