Second Triceratops horn, additional bones found in Thornton construction site

Posted at 10:25 PM, Aug 30, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-31 00:27:56-04

THORNTON, Colo. -- A second triceratops horn, along with other bones, were unearthed Wednesday as City of Thornton officials worked to break ground on a new public safety facility this week. 

The second horn was found along with a portion of the frill (the shield of bones behind the head), the beak at the front of the lower jaw, ribs and vertebrae as paleontologists worked in the area to determine how much of the dinosaur skeleton is present on the site. 

"We've had an incredible day out here," said Joe Sertich, Denver Museum of Nature & Science curator of dinosaurs. “It’s looking like we have one of the more complete Triceratops skeletons ever found in the metro area.”

Work will continue over the next several days to expose all the bones, officials said in a press release Thursday evening. 

Once the bones are safely removed from the site, they will be transferred and will be prepared to become part of the museum's permanent collection. 

“I really have to credit the professionals working at the site that discovered the fossils,” Sertich said. “They knew they hit something important and started making calls right away. It’s an unusual circumstance that everyone will benefit from for years to come since we’re able to preserve these bones on behalf of the people of Thornton and Colorado.”

Officials said guests would be able to see some of the Triceratops bones collected from the Thornton site as early as Friday afternoon. 

Initial discovery of Triceratops skull 

City of Thornton officials said Tuesday they had stumbled upon a rare find as they worked on breaking ground on a new fire and police substation at 132nd Avenue and Quebec Street. 

"This is probably one of only [four] skulls of triceratops found along the front range area," Sertich told Denver7. 

Museum scientists, staff and volunteers concluded the fossil was in the ground for 66 million years before being stumbled upon, and potentially almost lost. 

Check out a gallery of shots from the dig thus far by tapping the photo below!