When I was four years old, I wanted to be Super Mario. A few years later, once I had figured out how impractical and inconvenient becoming a trans-dimensional Italian plumber would actually be, I decided I wanted to be an archaeologist instead. As you can probably guess, this was 1993 and Jurassic Park had just come out.
I never achieved my dream of becoming an archaeologist, but one four year old has. Wiley Brys was fossil hunting with his father near a Mansfield, Texas grocery store, when he uncovered a 100-million year old dinosaur bone. The area had recently been dug up for development, and Wiley's father thought they might be able to uncover some fish fossils. Wiley went one better and discovered a potentially new species of dinosaur. Wiley's father, Tim Brys, told NBC Dallas-Fort Worth:
"We commonly go collect fossils as something we can do together to be outside. Wiley enjoys coming with me on my trips. We were finding some fish vertebrae in the hillside, and then Wiley walked a little ways ahead of me and came back with a piece of bone. And I paused and was like, 'OK, where did you find this?'"
Experts from the Southern Methodist University in Dallas were later called to the site, where they we able to confirm the bone was likely from a dinosaur of the Nodosaur family. These herbivores, which were 15-feet long, and covered with hard protective plates, lived around the Late Jurassic to early Cretaceous period, dating the find to around 100 million years ago.
Although additional testing needs to be performed on the bones, SMU's Digital Earth Sciences Laboratory is suggesting the find could be of a completely new dinosaur related to the Nodosaur. Brys added:
"It was awesome, it was really exciting. It's a really rare dinosaur, it's possible it could even be a new species."
What was your favorite dinosaur as a kid?