12-Year-Old Discovers 69 Million-Year-Old Fossil While Hiking With Dad

by Evan Reier

You never know what might happen when you go exploring with your dad, and for 12-year-old Nathan Hrushkin, it’s achieving the dream of discovering a fossil.

Per CNN, Hrushkin and his father were hiking in the Badlands of Alberta, Canada when they found a dinosaur fossil. For a kid that wants to be a paleontologist, he’s certainly off to a good start.

“It’s pretty amazing to find something that’s like real, like an actual dinosaur discovery,” he told CNN. “It’s kind of been my dream for a while.”

According to the story, Hrushkin and his father Dion found bone fragments on a previous excursion. Checking out the area again, the 12-year-old came across the partially unearthed fossil.

Dion explains the moment of discovery.

“He called down to me,” Dion said. “He’s like, ‘Dad, you need to get up here,’ and as soon as he said that I could tell by the tone in his voice that he found something.”

Due to Alberta’s laws that protect fossils, the father-son duo sent pictures of the bone to the Royal Tyrrell Museum of Paleontology. The museum properly identified the fossil and have been unearthing it over the summer.

Nathan Discovered Juvenile Hadrosaur Fossil

The paleontologists sent uncovered somewhere between 30 and 50 bones of a 69-million-year-old dinosaur, a hadrosaur. The museum states that hadrosaurs are the most commonly found fossils in Alberta. However, this one is special: it’s from a juvenile.

François Therrien is the Royal Tyrrell Museum’s curator of dinosaur palaeoecology. In the ensuing statement, Therrien explains the importance of the find and credits the Hrushkins.

“This young hadrosaur is a very important discovery because it comes from a time interval for which we know very little about what kind of dinosaurs or animals lived in Alberta,” Therrien said. “Nathan and Dion’s find will help us fill this big gap in our knowledge of dinosaur evolution.”