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“Best preserved armored dinosaur ever found” includes fossilized skin and remnants of last meal

ALBERTA, Canada - The remains of an armored Nodosaur are so well-preserved that it looks like a statue.

Miners accidentally stumbled upon the prehistoric treasure while excavating in Canada.

Scientists rushed to the site and were amazed by what they call the "best preserved armored dinosaur ever found."

Fossil experts spent a full five years and 7,000 hours of labor fully excavating the delicate body, which they compare to freeing talcum powder from concrete.

Researcher Caleb Brown told National Geographic, "We don't just have a skeleton, we have a dinosaur as it would have been."

About 112 million years ago, during the Late Cretaceous Period, scientists believe the carcass of this "knobbed lizard" ended up floating down a river and into an open ocean, where it sank to the bottom.

The ocean eventually vanished, covering the Nodosaur's armored body in deep layers of sediment, preserving it like a fossilized mummy.

Researchers found pebble-like masses in the plant eater's abdomen, which they believe could be its final meal.

The dinosaur is now the new centerpiece of the prehistoric exhibit at Alberta's Royal Tyrrell Museum, where many visitors say they can't believe their eyes.

"This is fantastic, it's absolutely amazing. I can't believe what I'm seeing. I've never seen anything like this," Tourist Linda Jolly said.

When scientists exhumed the 2,500-pound fossil, it was fully intact from its snout to its hips.

Before the Nodosaur was put on display, scientists remodeled its back end with a metal tail sculpture.

The dinosaur is believed to be the oldest of its species ever found in Canada.