First dinosaur fossil discovered in Washington - KPTV - FOX 12

First dinosaur fossil discovered in Washington

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Dr. Christian Sidor, Burke Museum curator of vertebrate paleontology, and Brandon Peecook, University of Washington graduate student, show the size and placement of the fossil fragment compared to the cast of a Daspletosaurus femur. Credit: Photo Courtesy Dr. Christian Sidor, Burke Museum curator of vertebrate paleontology, and Brandon Peecook, University of Washington graduate student, show the size and placement of the fossil fragment compared to the cast of a Daspletosaurus femur. Credit: Photo Courtesy
The first dinosaur fossil described from Washington State (left) is a portion of a femur leg bone (right) from a theropod dinosaur. Credit: Illustration courtesy of PLOS ONE, modified by the Burke Museum The first dinosaur fossil described from Washington State (left) is a portion of a femur leg bone (right) from a theropod dinosaur. Credit: Illustration courtesy of PLOS ONE, modified by the Burke Museum
SEATTLE (AP) -

Scientists say they've discovered Washington state's first dinosaur fossil.

The announcement marks a unique find for the state and a rare moment for North America's Pacific coast.

Paleontologists at Seattle's Burke Museum say the 80 million-year-old leg bone probably belonged to an older, smaller cousin of the Tyrannosaurus rex.

They've been studying the nearly 17-inch-long, 9-inch-wide fragment for about three years and say it probably came from a 3-foot thigh bone.

Dinosaur fossils are particularly rare along this side of the Pacific.

The announcement comes about a year after a 16,000-year-old mammoth tusk was found at a Seattle construction site.

The bone fragment was uncovered at Sucia Island State Park on the San Juan Islands. It was detailed online in the science journal PLOS ONE.

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. 

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