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Momentous fossil find in Colorado Springs draws world recognition

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Published: Oct. 24, 2019 at 9:17 PM MDT
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"Colorado Springs is the new center of the paleontology universe."

A bold claim, backed by a very lengthy report, an exhibit at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science, and a documentary special with NOVA.

That's not including the vast article put out in the

All of that acclaim comes from a few skulls and plant fossils found in the Corral Bluffs out near DragonMan's east of Colorado Springs. But these fossils open a window into 66 million years ago, after the KT mass extinction event when an asteroid wiped out the dinosaurs.

Paleontologist Tyler Lyson told 11 News the moment he found the first fossil along the plains of eastern Colorado Springs, he just started yelling and high fiving everyone around him.

"And then we found more," Lyson added, chuckling.

Lyson attributes a lot of this find to a large team of individuals, but is credited with thinking to use tactics normally used in underwater searches.

They started looking for concretions instead of just bones.

Concretions are a hard rock shell built around something over time. Lyson says usually, it's nothing important, but every so often, it can be something incredible like a fossil.

That is how they were able to find the skulls of mammals of different sizes going from raccoons to wolves and things similar to crocodiles and turtles. They are still figuring out what classification those new animals could belong to.

This find was actually three years ago, but scientists needed to keep this a secret until they were able to present their findings all at once.

Stay with 11 News as we learn more about the fossils in our own back yard and what it will mean for our understanding of the Earth and its' rich history.

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