None of us are or should be under the impression that the human race is the first species ever to roam the Earth. Anyone who thinks that has A LOT of reading up to do of the fundamental shape of the world that stretches back billions of years. But, in a story that strikes an incredible balance between the natural past and concrete contemporary present, the world received another chilling discovery that reminded us how we are currently walking on sacred land that belonged to some truly magnificent beasts.
Outside of the images that we've seen about dinosaurs, it's a little unfathomable to really discuss what all these animals looked like. But, it's the work of archeology, paleontology, and some killer Godzilla movies that have brought us closer to seriously understanding the first occupants of this planet. With every new discovery comes a new level of education that cultivates our idea of what dinosaurs looked like before an extinction made way for a new alpha to take over. And it was a construction worker who made even the experts awe at his discovery.
When we study them in museums, dinosaurs have a plethora of mysteries and complexities that show us who they are. We only have their bones and skeletons as a trusted source of information that tells us what they were all about, and it becomes more and more fascinating with each unearthing. The one found by a construction worker was truly one for the ages that was also something of a game-changer.
Any of the discoveries that you set your eyes on in a museum look like sculpted statues more than fossils. They're so detailed and layered in their construction that they looked like they were crafted with hammer and chisel. But, when a construction worker made his discovery, he saw a once-in-generation kind of unraveling on a not-so-normal day at the office.
Shawn Funk was using the backhoe to excavate through layers of sand that used to overflow with marine plants and creatures that dwelled in the area several million years before. The Canadian energy company that he worked for, Suncor, was solely preoccupied with old plant fossils. Shawn, on what was a normal daily routine, was about to start his week with the greatest discovery in archeological history.
Over time, nature has managed to reorder the way the world has operated and reacted to things that happen. All those years ago, plants and animals had died off and began to settle to the bottom of the nearest ocean that essentially buried them. With a rise in heat and pressure, those once-living creates devolved in hydrocarbons--and crude oil, which explains why an energy company would be so close to the ocean.
Because this was just another day at the office, Shawn never could've imagined that something would go wrong or that anything out of the ordinary was going to happen. So, he let the mass machine do what it does, and dig up sand while he took a lunch break. The last normal lunch break he would ever experience.
Shawn never ran into anything either than sand and oil, so, to leave the backhoe on autopilot while in his absence meant that only more sand and oil was going to be discovered. Upon returning from his lunch break, he couldn't help but notice that his machine was making a less than ordinary humming sound that was emitting from it. This piqued his interest.
As the machine dug into the hole, it didn't sound as though it was scraping away at the tree bark that Shawn first considered it was. The sand and oil that he was so accustomed to dealing with had no reason to cause this sound. Instead, this scraping sounded as though it was digging on the surface of a solid item.
Shawn unearthed his knack for discovery and decided to get to the very bottom of the unsettling sound. He essentially concluded that there must've been something unnatural that was dug up below the surface. He pulled the backhoe up from the hole he was digging in and dumped the contents of the excavator to review. He then immediately noticed odd light-brown lumps that were spilled out, which caught his attention as he began inspecting them deeper.
Shawn decided that discretion was the better part of valor and reported the strange finding to his Suncor executives to help him figure this strange discovery out. The rocks that they had found were as fascinating and looked sculpted, so, they were never to be dismissed as just large stones. The Suncor executives contacted the Royal Tyrrell Museum to explain to them what they had found.
Immediately, from the description of the discovery, the members from the museum could immediately tell that something extraordinary was on the horizon. Before long, they were on the site to take a look at what they were told was on the site, and the findings were life-changing and phenomenal.
Following a valid inspection into the large chunks, there was reason to believe there was more to it. The Suncor excavators and the museum technician team spent the following twelve hours digging into the excavation to find more of these unusual large chunks. These chunks lead the diggers to a shocking discovery that changed the world for good.
They were able to free all the rocks from the accretion in an attempt to lift it to ground level for further study. As they lowered it to ground-level, the mass proved far too heavy for the machinery as it crashed and shattered to the ground, which revealed the stunning sites that paleontologists around the world would've been frothing over.
Buried within the site and the rocky rubble was the remains of a prehistoric primal organism! A moment that will live long in the minds of the excavators for years to come. Shawn's average day at work revealed a new link to the prehistoric puzzle that absolutely altered the course that global paleontologists were already on. This wasn't an everyday occurrence at Suncor, or the paleontology industry as well.
Once they had assembled the skeletal structures of the findings, they were able to recreate a 9-foot dinosaur named Borealopelta. An almost armadillo/anteater shaped specimen that lived close to 110 million years before this monumental discovery. It wasn't like any other day at all. And it wasn't like anything ever seen before either.
Borealopelta has since changed a lot of what we know about the fascinating world of the creatures that dwelled on this Earth before us. As time goes on, we'll find far more of these incredible specimen that teaches us more about what the world looked like before the age of machines that would discover their remains. What do you think of these discoveries? And how many more do you think will be found in our lifetime?