The Denver Museum of Nature and Science has confirmed that a fossil of a Triceratops has been uncovered at Thornton’s new Public Safety Facility at 132nd Avenue and Quebec Street. The fossil was discovered at the construction site over the weekend. Currently, the discovery includes a horn and shoulder blade but the crew is working to unearth even more.

“I’m excited to stabilize the area tomorrow and collect the fossil and to see how much more is under the surface,” said Joe Sertich, Denver Museum of Nature & Science curator of dinosaurs.

Photos courtesy of the City of Thornton,

The fossil is at least 66 million years old and is one of three Triceratops skulls found in the Front Range. However, it is a rare find for the Denver area.

“It is incredible to have this find occur in our backyard,” Sertich said. “We’ve found two dozen horned dinosaurs—including several new species — in the past couple of years outside of Colorado. Some are the largest and most complete skeletons ever recovered. Finds like this help us to understand dinosaur evolution and behavior.”

The museum will release more information about the extent of the excavation as the project gets underway.

Photo courtesy of the City of Thornton