Published March 21, 2013
A spiky dinosaur took the top vote in a Canadian "Dino Idol" that asked visitors to one museum to select which fossil among five specimens that they wanted to see unwrapped from its protective packet.
"Canadian Club," an ankylosaur, took 36 percent of the votes cast. Its tally was 605 more votes than the second-place winner, which was part of a dinosaur mouth known as "Mystery Jaw."
Before voting, visitors to the Canadian Museum of Nature in the past month could view the fossils in their "jackets" of burlap, plaster and surrounding rock material.
"Our visitors were clearly drawn to Canadian Club, although each candidate was selected to provide something interesting to uncover," said Jordan Mallon, a palaeontologist at the museum, in Ottawa.
"The field notes from when Canadian Club was collected say the fossil includes the hips, tail and club of an ankylosaur. It's unusual to find these parts articulated or attached, so if that's the case it could provide more information about this dinosaur's anatomy." [Gallery: Dinosaurs Locked in Rock]
Each of the five specimens was collected between 1912 and 1924 by a famous Canadian fossil collector family, the Sternbergs. The Sternbergs retrieved Canadian Club in 1915 from an area now known as Dinosaur Provincial Park in Alberta, about 112 miles east of Calgary.
The fossil weighs in at 661 pounds. Canadian Club's jacket will be opened April 8.
"The preparation may be challenging because the fossil is embedded in ironstone," the museum stated.
"Removing this hard substrate while preserving the more delicate fossil remains is likened to extracting an eggshell out of concrete."
Mallon said he is hoping to see scutes, or bony plates or scales that were on the skin of ankylosaurs. The scutes could have acted as a shield against predators to the plant-eating animal, he said.
The museum will share the unwrapping through several social media channels and will also post videos and blog updates as the work progresses.
Full results of the votes were as follows:
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