Studies have started on a fossil found roughly three and a half years ago at Suncor Energy’s Millennium Mine.
Dr. Don Henderson, curator of dinosaurs at the Royal Tyrell Museum, said bone from the plesiosaur was brought up through a drill core from 33 metres down.
While the plesiosaur went extinct at the same time as dinosaurs, Henderson noted that the fossil is that of a marine reptile that was fully adapted for life in the sea.
“We know they’re not dinosaurs. They’re not turtles. They’re not mammals. The only thing left is that they’re probably related to lizards.”
He said work started last week and bones at the base of the neck of the marine reptile have been exposed.
While Henderson said they can’t be precise, the bones are believed to be between 112 and 115 million years old.
Plesiosaurs have been found all over the world, including at Syncrude in 2011.