Incredibly rare 70-million-year old baby dinosaur fossil gets airlifted out of the desert

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Baby Dinosaur Fossils Take To The Air


According to ABC News affiliate KOAT, researchers from the New Mexico Museum of Natural History made a unique discovery that they managed to remove from its original location only four years after it was found. The fossil of a baby pentaceratop was discovered in the New Mexico desert and it is currently the only one on the planet. After years of excavations, the researchers were finally able to move the fossil to Albuquerque with the help of the National Guard, which employed a Blackhawk helicopter to airlift the precious finding.

Illustration of Pentaceratops eating branch leaves

For all the dinosaurs fans, the fossil will be on display at the museum and people will be able to watch paleontologists at work, removing rocks and dirt from it. Geosciences collection manager Amanda Cantrell is the one who found the bones as she explained:

Basically, we spent a month out in the field, just hiking the outcrop, and one day, I went really far, and I stumbled upon some bones. You become familiar with what the bones look like, and I saw them from pretty far away and went up to investigate, and sure enough, I saw the skull first.

The rocks around the fossil were formed 70 million years ago in a time when the area was a sea coast, according to curator Spencer Lucas who explained that such environments full of rivers and mud could have easily trapped the baby dinosaur and cause its death.

See the extraction process:

Baby Dinosaur Bones Get Airlift From New Mexico Wilderness


See more of the dino being extracted:
8 PHOTOS
NTP: National Guard airlifts dinosaur fossils out of wilderness
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Incredibly rare 70-million-year old baby dinosaur fossil gets airlifted out of the desert
Sgt. James Ray and Staff Sgt. Noe Amador secure the remains of a Pentaceratops, Thursday, Oct. 29, 2015, to a flatbed trailer in the Bisti-De-Na-Zin Wilderness area south of Farmington, N.M. The fossils are encapsulated in heavy plaster jackets. They're being trucked to the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science in Albuquerque. (Jon Austria/The Daily Times via AP)
Amanda Cantrell, geoscience collection manager for the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science inspects the condition of a juvenile Pentaceratops, Thursday, Oct. 29, 2015, after it was transported out of the Bisti-De-Na-Zin Wilderness area south of Farmington, N.M. The fossils are encapsulated in heavy plaster jackets. They're being trucked to the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science in Albuquerque. (Jon Austria/The Daily Times via AP)
Sgt. 1st Class Terrill Lee, from left, Sgt. James Ray and Staff Sgt. Noe Amador, secure the remains of a Pentaceratops, Thursday, Oct. 29, 2015, in the Bisti-De-Na-Zin Wilderness area south of Farmington, N.M. The fossils are encapsulated in heavy plaster jackets. They're being trucked to the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science in Albuquerque. (Jon Austria/The Daily Times via AP)
A group of people take photos of the remains of an adult Pentaceratops, Thursday, Oct. 29, 2015, after it was transported by helicopter, out of the Bisti-De-Na-Zin Wilderness area south of Farmington, N.M. The fossils are encapsulated in heavy plaster jackets. They're being trucked to the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science in Albuquerque. (Jon Austria/The Daily Times via AP) 
A group of people watch as a helicopter carries remains of an adult Pentaceratops, Thursday, Oct. 29, 2015, in the Bisti-De-Na-Zin Wilderness area south of Farmington, N.M. The fossils are encapsulated in heavy plaster jackets. They're being trucked to the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science in Albuquerque. (Jon Austria/The Daily Times via AP)
A helicopter carries remains of an adult Pentaceratops, Thursday, Oct. 29, 2015, in the Bisti-De-Na-Zin Wilderness area south of Farmington, N.M. The fossils are encapsulated in heavy plaster jackets. They're being trucked to the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science in Albuquerque. (Jon Austria/The Daily Times via AP) 
A helicopter carries a piece of a Pentaceratops, Thursday, Oct. 29, 2015, to awaiting members of the the New Mexico National Guard's Transportation Company, in the Bisti-De-Na-Zin Wilderness area south of Farmington, N.M. The fossils are encapsulated in heavy plaster jackets. They're being trucked to the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science in Albuquerque. (Jon Austria/The Daily Times via AP) 
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