Perhaps no animal, living or dead, has captivated the world in the way that dinosaurs have. But what if everything we thought we knew about these prehistoric creatures turned out to be wrong? When one paleontologist began excavating a dig site in the mountains of North Dakota, he soon discovered a lost piece of dinosaur history that may change everything we thought we knew about the terrible lizards that once ruled the world.
Most people would consider a preoccupation with bones concerning, though Robert DePalma's love of the dead and buried was anything but peculiar. An aspiring paleontologist, the 37-year-old managed to turn his lifelong passion into a curator position for the Palm Beach Museum of Natural History.
North Dakota discovery
But DePalma was perhaps best known for the widely publicized discovery he made near Bowman, North Dakota, in 2012. After receiving a tip from a private fossil collector, DePalma and his team began excavating a site along the well-known Hell Creek Formation.
Initially, DePalma felt the site, dubbed "Tanis," had little promise, something the collector had made him privy to prior to the excavation. However, after returning to Tanis in 2013, the paleontologist discovered there was more to this unassuming patch of rock than met the eye.
Just a few meters below the surface, DePalma discovered a host of rare and unusual fossils, including those of species he claimed to have never seen before. It was an incredible find, though one set of bones in particular caught DePalma's eye — and left him positively stumped.