A curator from Colorado has spent his entire fossil hunting career looking for the T-Rex.
Anthony Maltese of Triebold Paleontology Inc. was finishing up his last day of the expedition in late July in the Hell Creek Formation in Harding County, South Dakota, when he found what he had been looking for for 25 years, according to an email from Maltese and a press release from the Rocky Mountain Dinosaur Resource Center.
After covering 100 miles on their trip and “crossing the ranch,” Maltese and his team discovered fossilized bones “scattered under the soft mud,” according to the resource center.
The team has worked through the area on past trips, but due to erosion, some bones have begun to appear, the release said. After seeing the bones recovered, the team declared the area “an excavation site worthy of full and thorough paleontological excavation and documentation.”
“After the first few days of serious evaluation, it became clear to Maltese and Triebold Paleontology founder Mike Triebold that this was indeed a separate animal, and not simply part of an animal that had been deposited in the area in another way, such as being washed into a stream,” the release said. .
Paleontologists were able to detect signs of disease, deformation, previous trauma and signs of cannibalism on the bones, according to the release.
“What has been found already tells the story of a large juvenile that appears to have been scavenged after death by other predators, including other tyrannosaurs,” the release said.
However, uncovering all the parts proved tedious.
“Approximately 15% have been found so far, but more may be waiting under the dirt,” the release said.
As the founder of bones, Maltese was able to give fossils a name.
He named the find “Valerie” after his wife, fearing that if he didn’t, he would have problems with her.
“But not Val,” Maltese clarified, according to the release, to Valerie.
Valerie will be on display at Triebold Paleontology Inc.’s headquarters laboratory, according to the release. at the Dinosaur Resource Center in Woodland Park, Colorado.
The Maltese will hold a talk on fossils on October 26.
For anyone who wants to go see the fossils, they will be open for public viewing on October 29.