FOUND: The first ever dinosaur fossil in Washington State
Burke Museum researchers have discovered the first recorded dinosaur fossil in Washington State in the San Juan Islands. While the team was collecting ammonite fossils in Sucia Island State Park they uncovered a small portion of exposed bone and excavated it for study by Burke Museum Curator of Vertebrate Paleontology Dr. Christian Sidor and University of Washington Department of Biology graduate student Brandon Peecook.
Per a press release, "The fossil is a partial left femur of a theropod dinosaur, the group of two-legged, carnivorous dinosaurs that includes Velociraptor, Tyrannosaurus rex and modern birds. The fossil is 16.7 inches long and 8.7 inches wide."
The researchers determined that the fossil dates back to the Late Cretaceous period and is approximately 80 million years old. The find makes Washington State the 37th state in the U.S. where dinosaur bones have been discovered. The fossil is currently on display in the lobby of the museum.