''Mummified'' Dinosaur Unveiled

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December 3, 2007Dakota, a 67-million-year-old "dino mummy" unveiled today by a British paleontologist, is seen here in an artist's rendering.

The extraordinarily preserved hadrosaur, or duck-billed dino, still had much of its tissues and bones intact, encased in an envelope of skin.

Research into the dinosaur's remains may further scientists' understanding of how the ancient creatures' skin appeared and how quickly they moved, said team leader Phillip Manning of the University of Manchester, a National Geographic Expeditions Council grantee.

"This specimen exceeds the jackpot," Manning said.

Dakota was about 35 feet (12 meters) long and weighed some 3.5 tons, but the dinosaur was no slowpoke, according to preliminary studies. (Related news: "T. Rex Quicker Than Fastest Humans, Study Says" [August 23, 2007].)

With the aid of a large-scale CT scanner, researchers determined that Dakota had a more muscular rear end and more powerful legs than previously believed, according to Manning.

The dig and subsequent scanning are the subjects of Dino Autopsy, a National Geographic Channel special airing on December 9 at 9 p.m. EST/10 p.m. PT. (The National Geographic Society owns National Geographic News and co-owns the National Geographic Channel.)

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—Art by Julius T. Csotonyi ) 2007 National Geographic
 
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