Alberta, Canada: Fossils of a dinosaur were accidentally found in Midland Provincial Park in Alberta while testing a new model of Mars rover. The discovery was made while a design team was looking for Mars-like terrain to test a Mars rover for a competition.
“We initially noticed a rock that looked surprisingly like a thigh bone protruding from the ground,” Danno Peters, a student of engineering physics at the University of Saskatchewan, told Live Science.
“It was encased in the rock which was lighter than the surrounding stones,” Peters added.
Things to know, about the findings:
The discovery was made in June 2017 by students from the University of Saskatchewan. The team of students was formed in 2005 to work on developing technologies for Mars rovers, satellites as well as other space-related engineering projects. The team, however, found the fossils while working on its project.
The fossils belonged to the plant eater dinosaur- hadrosaur- which were duck-billed dinosaurs known for the flat, duck-bill appearance of the bones in their snouts. The fossils of these species have been earlier found in Asia, Europe and North America.
Danno Peters, the president of the team, couldn’t believe that the “rock looking” things were actually fossils of a dinosaur. He was a part of the cohort which had to choose a Mars-like location for the competition by analysing all the badlands in Saskatchewan. So, the Midland Provincial Park was chosen as the best landscape because of its high iron content.
A report by Saskatoon Star Phoenix stated that the area where the bones were found was marked off and the Rover challenge was continued. The rovers that were competing in the Canadian International Rover Challenge were devised to assist humans on Mars.