Weird ‘Rocks’ at Robotics Test Site Turn Out to Be Dinosaur Fossils

Jul 31, 2017

By Mindy Weisberger

What began as a search by university students for a Mars-like landscape in a Canadian park took an unexpected detour into paleontology, when they discovered strange “rocks” that turned out to be dinosaur bones.

Members of the University of Saskatchewan Space Design Team (USST) were visiting Midland Provincial Park in Alberta, Canada, on June 1, to scout locations for an upcoming robotics contest. They needed terrain that closely mimicked the Martian surface, to test prototypes of Mars rovers in a new competition bringing together teams from around North America, USST President Danno Peters, a student studying engineering physics at the University of Saskatchewan, told Live Science in an email.

But the team found something else along the way: unusual-looking rocks embedded in the ground. Upon closer inspection, the “rocks” turned out to be fossils, including what appeared to be a thigh bone and part of a jaw, Peters said.

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