A 5-year-old boy and his father were searching for fossils when they discovered the bones of what scientists believe could be a 100-million-year-old dinosaur.
Last September, zookeeper Tim Brys took his son Wiley, then 4, fossil hunting behind a retail center that was under construction in Mansfield, Texas.
"We commonly go collect fossils as something we can do together to be outside. Wiley enjoys coming with me on my trips,” Brys tells NBC 5. "We were finding some fish vertebrae in the hillside, and then Wiley walked a little ways ahead of me and came back with a piece of bone. And I paused and was like, 'OK, where did you find this?’"
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"My dad told me it was a turtle," Wylie told The Dallas Morning News of his discovery. "But now he's telling me it's a dinosaur.”
His dad was right. Southern Methodist University (SMU) scientists believe that what Brys’ son found are the bones of a rare dinosaur that once roamed the earth about 100 million years ago.
Last Friday, the scientists, with the help of the Dallas Zoo, started digging up the bones, which they believe belong to a group of dinosaurs called the Nodosaur. These land-dwelling, herbivore creatures lived in the late Jurassic to early Cretaceous eras.
"It's probably a once in a lifetime opportunity," Brys said of his son’s find. "And he was four.”
According to The Dallas Morning News, the fossils are being transported with burlap and plaster wrapping to SMU, where scientists will clean the bones and begin to study it.