Dear Mummy: Rare fossil reveals common dinosaur's soft tissue

10:28am, October 16, 2002

A mummified dinosaur unearthed in Montana a year ago is giving scientists a rare peek at what the creature's muscles and other soft tissues may have looked like.

The duck-billed animal–dubbed Leonardo by its discoverers–would have been about 7 meters long and weighed about 2 tons when it traipsed around Montana in large herds about 77 million years ago. The most complete mummified dinosaur to be described in 70 years, the fossil includes three-dimensional, mineralized casts of the animal's right shoulder muscle, throat tissue, and skin. Much of the left side of the dinosaur was relatively flattened, with skin drawn taut against ribs and other bones.

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