Nate Murphy is a high-profile fossil hunter and former curator of palaeontology at the Phillips County Museum in Malta, US. In 2001, he uncovered a mummified dinosaur while excavating in northeastern Montana. Mr Murphy, along with a team of scientists, slowly worked away at the rock to remove the prehistoric creature.
The 59-year-old revealed during Amazon Prime’s “Secrets of the Dinosaur Mummy” how the group freed the fossil.
He said in 2017: “When we realised we had a fossilised cadaver, we had to figure out a way to get a six-and-a-half-ton block of a dinosaur out of the ballads of northeastern Montana.
“Leonardo is our best opportunity to bring dinosaurs back to life.”
The documentary went on to reveal how the Brachylophosaurus’ body had managed to stay perfectly intact for so long.
Nate Murphy uncovered the dinosaur (Image: AMAZON PRIME)
Scientists studied the dinosaur’s body (Image: AMAZON PRIME)
Leonardo is our best opportunity to bring dinosaurs back to life
The narrator revealed: “It would take several hundred pounds of dynamite and dozens of bloody fingers to free the fossil.
“Leo’s body had been submerged underwater, then covered in silt.
“Shortly after death, he was mysteriously mummified.
“Fossilisation followed as tiny grains of sand replaced preserved tissue.”
The dinosaur was uncovered in 2001 (Image: AMAZON PRIME)
The scientists took Leonardo some 30 miles down the road to the city of Malta on the West Coast of the US.
Here, inside the Great Plains Dinosaur Museum, they used state-of-the-art technology to X-ray the body.
They found his insides intact, revealing his stomach, heart and liver.
However, it was the dinosaur’s skin that allowed them to really get a better understanding of the species.
What Leonardo may have looked like 77 million years ago (Image: AMAZON PRIME)
Mr Murphy added: “What the specimen absolutely tells us is the upper part of his sides and back are small scales.
“When it wrapped around to his underbelly, it was leathery with very few scales.
“And the long slender legs had amour sections of scales for when the animal was walking through all that rough vegetation.”