One of the participating researchers noted, “We don’t just have a skeleton.” “We have a dinosaur that looks just how it would have in the past.”
The nodosaur is the most exciting dinosaur on display at the Royal Tyrrell Museum of Palaeontology in Alberta, located in Canada. The National Geographic Society/Robert Clark
Researchers are hailing it as the most well-preserved dinosaur specimen ever found. Because of this, you cannot glimpse its skeleton because the skin and armor that covers them are still intact.
Patterns on the skin of this fossilized nodosaur, which is more than 110 million years old but was discovered by chance by miners in Canada, are still discernible despite its advanced age. The Royal-Tyrrell Museum of Palaeontology in Alberta, Canada, which recently disclosed the find, claims that the dinosaur is so well-preserved that we might reasonably term it a “dinosaur mummy” rather than a “fossil.” The museum recently announced that the discovery was made.
The holotype of Borealopelta is on display at the Royal Tyrrell Museum in Alberta. Image credit: ケラトプスユウタ
The researchers who examined the item were stunned by its practically unheard-of amount of preservation. They had never witnessed anything like it before, but the creature’s skin, armor, and even some of its guts were all still intact.
One of the researchers commented that “you don’t need to use much imagination to recreate it; if you just squint your-eyes a-bit, you could almost assume that it was sleeping.” 
Skeletons of nodosaurs have been unearthed in the past, and they all had the same general appearance:
This dinosaur had a body structure similar to a tank. It was a massive herbivore with four legs and plated armor protected by spikes. It was a member of a newly found species dubbed a nodosaur. It probably weighed around 3,000 pounds.
Let me tell you how well preserved the nodosaur has been. Let me tell you that it still weighs 2,500 pounds!
Nodosaur (armored dinosaur) fossil discovered at the Suncor Mine near Fort McMurray by the Government of Alberta
The researchers believe that the nodosaur may have been swept away by a flooded river and carried out to sea, where it eventually sank to the ocean floor. Even though it is still a bit of a mystery how the dinosaur mummy managed to stay so well preserved for such a long time, it has been discovered that it did.
The dinosaur’s skin and armor may have become covered in minerals due to the passage of millions of years. This may help explain why the creature was maintained in a form similar to its natural state.
In honor of Royal Tyrrell Museum technician Mark Mitchell, who spent over 7,000 hours carefully excavating the fossil from its rocky bed, researchers have given the 5.5-meter (18-foot-long) nodosaur they discovered the name Borealopelta mark Mitchell.
Technician Mark Mitchell is prepping the Nodosaur. Royal Tyrrell Museum
But to what extent does the species resemble its namesake? It would appear that the preservation was of such high quality that scientists could determine the hue of the dinosaur’s skin by employing procedures based on mass spectrometry to identify the pigments.
Because of this, they could determine that the nodosaur’s upper body was colored a dark reddish brown. In contrast, the lower side of its body had a lighter hue. This dinosaur was a herbivore. Thus the shade of its skin must have served some part in defending it from the large carnivores that were around during that period.
We are discussing an enormous and fully armored dinosaur, demonstrating precisely how lethal those predators must have been…
Robert Clark/National Geographic
According to the news release about the museum’s exhibit, the nodosaur was discovered by an unknowing excavator operator who encountered the historic discovery while digging in an oil sand mine. The exhibition will be on display at the museum. After 7,000 hours of laborious reconstruction work, the nodosaur was finally ready to be shown to the general public.
The dinosaur mummy is remarkable for several reasons, not the least because it has been kept in three dimensions, retaining the animal’s natural form despite its skin, armor, and internal organs having been well preserved.
A film produced by National Geographic on the nodosaur is considered the most well-preserved dinosaur ever found.
“It will go down in the history of science as one of the most beautiful and best preserved-dinosaur specimens – the Mona Lisa of dinosaurs,” said one of the researchers who worked on the discovery.
Robert Clark/National Geographic
The Mona Lisa of dinosaurs… It is indeed.