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Alberta treasure hunt in the footsteps of dinosaurs

In the Badlands region, in the southwest of the country, the expert caress of paleontologists’ brushes reveals the fossils of these funny reptiles that haunt our imagination.

The chapped earth cracks under the soles in a crackle of crushed meringue. On the Tormans’ farm, on the shores of the Red Deer River, the ocean of shrub sage suddenly collapses into deep gullies and reveals treasures of vertebrae and petrified chops. Fran├žois Therrien, paleontologist attached to the Royal Tyrrell Museum, leans over a superb tibia of Arrhinoceratops, an armored-ruffed herbivore that greedily grazed ferns in the Late Cretaceous 72 million years ago when the western plains Canadians thought they were the bayous of Louisiana. The venerable vestige, still engulfed in its clay matrix, reveals a smooth face almost shining under a sun that crushes flies. All these surrounding areas are a small window open to the period between 83 and 66 million years. To date fossils like this, we use the elements

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