A recent study found a 70 million-year-old dinosaur which has been found with preserved skin with gashes. The reason that it got mummified is that it was partially eaten by crocodiles, carnivores, and other animals. The North Dakota Heritage Centre and State Museum in Bismarck is home to a well-known Edmontosaurus fossil, from which the researchers drew these results. The "Dakota" specimen was found in 1999 on a ranch close to Marmarth in southwest North Dakota, US.
It is estimated that the seven-meter-long duck-billed hadrosaur lost many of the bodily fluids and gashes that promote decay and then dried out before becoming buried under multiple layers of sediment.
The remains are said to be in good condition, with multiple gashes and punctures in the forelimb and tail, and the holes and scrapes that were found on the bone skin, which is said to be certainly crocodile-derived.
The other V-shaped gashes on the skin could have been made by the claws of a much larger carnivore, possibly a juvenile Tyrannosaurus rex.
The injuries and marks on the tissue, such as on the skin, which usually does not always retain its original shape, make it difficult to determine what happened, and the team is unsure whether the attack on the hadrosaur was carried out by a predator before death or by scavengers after death—or both.
The dinosaur mummies, according to the researchers, only occur in exceptional circumstances of very rapid burial or sudden drying; they also stated that mummification is not as rare as many partially eaten dinosaurs that dried out before being buried beneath layers of sediment.