At first glance the reassembled gray blocks look like a
nine-foot-long sculpture of a dinosaur. A bony mosaic of armor
coats its neck and back, and gray circles outline individual
scales. Its neck gracefully curves to the left, as if reaching
toward some tasty plant. But this is no lifelike sculpture. It’s
an actual dinosaur, petrified from the snout to the hips.
The more I look at it, the more mind-boggling it becomes.
Fossilized remnants of skin still cover the bumpy armor plates
dotting the animal’s skull. Its right forefoot lies by its side,
its five digits splayed upward. I can count the scales on its
sole. Caleb Brown, a postdoctoral researcher at the museum, grins
at my astonishment. “We don’t just have a skeleton,” he tells me
later. “We have a dinosaur as it would have been.”
Looks more like a movie prop than a fossil.