NI PhD student discovers Netflix dinosaur could have been killed by falling tree

A Queen’s University study has discovered that a duck-billed dinosaur, the skeleton of which was found in Canada in 1920, is likely to have been injured by a falling tree.

By Graeme Cousins
Wednesday, 2nd December 2020, 1:06 pm
Updated Wednesday, 2nd December 2020, 2:36 pm
The skeleton of the Parasaurolophus which has been on display at the Royal Ontario Museum, since being discovered in Alberta, Canada in 1920
The skeleton of the Parasaurolophus which has been on display at the Royal Ontario Museum, since being discovered in Alberta, Canada in 1920

Filippo Bertozzo, a PhD student from the School of Natural and Built Environment at Queen’s University Belfast, examined the skeleton of the Parasaurolophus, a creature which features in the Netflix series Jurassic World: Camp Cretaceous.

The skeleton has been on display at the Royal Ontario Museum, since being discovered in Alberta, Canada in 1920.

Along with his research collaborators from institutions in Canada, Italy and Liverpool, Mr Bertozzo found that the duck-billed dinosaur – known as ROM 768 – suffered several major injuries before its death.

Having established a heavy object such as a tree may have fallen on the animal during a storm Mr Bertozzo said: “The injuries were well-healed, however, demonstrating the resilience of the dinosaur who survived for several months or perhaps even some years after the event.”

The shape of the dinosaur’s neck has been a source of intrigue to palaeo-artists, who attempt to depict prehistoric life according to scientific evidence, over the decades.

In Disney’s 1940 film Fantasia it is shown as having a thin neck with a frill, while later artists portrayed it with a graceful, swan-like neck. More recently, discovery of partially mummified dinosaurs suggested that the dinosaur had a much bulkier neck.