Missouri College Student Discovers 66-Million-Year-Old Triceratops Fossil

By Taylor Linzinmeir

September 20, 2022

Triceratops Dinosaur Fossil
Photo: Getty Images

A Missouri college student recently made the discovery of a lifetime: A 66-million-year-old triceratops fossil, according to Newswise.

Emma Puetz, a junior in geology at Missouri S&T, was attending the Adventure 360 field school when she made the discovery. As she headed down a steep hill covered in loose gravel, she noticed something sticking out of the rocky soil: The edge of a triceratops frill (the bony collar that arched behind the dinosaur's head).

“I thought at first it was petrified wood,” Puetz said. “It had such well-preserved ornamentation, and it was shiny like petrified wood. So I put a piece of it to my tongue. It stuck.” The pores in fossilized bone stick to the tongue. She immediately radioed Ron Giesler, who runs the field school.

“Emma’s find has the potential to at least be a major portion of the triceratops frill, if not a major portion of its skull,” Giesler said. “We won’t know for sure until we start excavating next summer.”

Having found the fossil, Puetz also has naming rights. She decided to name it Joe Miner.

Adventure 360 is "a nonprofit organization promoting unique and authentic learning experiences for adults, families, students and educators. Participants are not scientists, researchers, or college students studying for a career in science," according to their website.

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