The first true-to-life depiction of a dinosaur is on display at the National Zoo.
That’s because a museum employee discovered the fossil in an exhibit in the late 1970s.
“I had a really bad case of polio,” the worker told National Geographic.
She was diagnosed with the disease and died from it.
It was her last days.
The museum had been working on a project to find a dinosaur that could recreate the animal.
The bones of the dinosaur were preserved in a metal container.
The container was sealed with a plastic bag.
But one day in 2007, a staff member discovered the bones of a young, young dinosaur lying in the bottom of the container.
That day, the museum brought in a colleague to check out the specimen.
The dinosaur had been in the container for more than 50 years.
“We went into the box, and we took off our shoes and started walking out the back,” the museum’s conservation director, Tom Wojcik, told National Science Week in January.
“It was a really strange moment.”
Wojciechowski says the dinosaur’s skeleton was surprisingly well preserved.
“The fossil was really well preserved, and it had a lot of internal organs,” he said.
“And you can see the heart and the rib cage.”
The team of scientists spent about three years digging up the dinosaur, including cutting open the neck to examine the heart.
They discovered the heart was full of collagen.
“What I was seeing was collagen that was not in the muscle tissue,” Wojk told National Magazine.
“That was really amazing.”
When the team finally unearthed the dinosaur in 2016, the team was surprised to find that the heart had grown a lot.
It had been replaced by a long, flexible cord.
The team named it the “dinosaur cord,” and it’s now part of the museum.
The researchers say that the cord may be the oldest preserved piece of bone ever found in North America.
Wojcek says the new dinosaur has “almost completely replaced the dinosaur cord,” which has been “almost entirely lost in the museum.”
That means the dinosaur has the chance to become a dinosaur expert.
Wodjcik says he thinks the new discovery will help scientists understand the evolution of dinosaurs.
“You can see how they adapted to their environment, and that the evolution went from a predator that was in a very small space to one that was larger,” he told National magazine.
“Then, after the dinosaur went extinct, there was a transition period.”
“The most interesting part is that we have a fossil that is preserved and has not been touched by the elements for millions of years,” he added.