SCIENCE
10/03/2013 03:43 pm ET | Updated Oct 07, 2013

Huge Dinosaur Tail Fossil Dug Up In Alberta, Canada During Pipeline Construction (PHOTO, VIDEO)

This is one tall tail you have to see to believe.

A construction crew working on an oil pipeline in Alberta, Canada, this week unearthed the fossilized remains of a dinosaur's tail.

The section of tail, measuring up to 32 feet long, was discovered by a backhoe operator working for the Tourmaline Oil Corp., according to Canadian news site CBC. Initially, the operator thought he had merely chipped off some rock. But when he spied the distinctive vertebrae, he stopped work and called in the experts.

By Wednesday, paleontologists from the Tyrrell Museum and National Geographic had arrived to look at the fossil, and Pipestone Creek Dinosaur Initiative head paleontologist Dr. Matthew Vavrek later viewed the fossil as well. Vavrek told CNN that he was surprised by the impressive fossil's size and state of preservation.

"As we walked around it, we saw this whole part of a tail of a dinosaur," Vavrek said. "To see something like that is pretty incredible." The "last time I've seen something like that was in a museum," he said, adding that such finds were rare.

Experts said it could take years to identify what type of dinosaur the tail belonged to.

According to the National Post, Alberta is a particularly fossil-rich area. Last August, a team of paleontologists spent 12 days unearthing a 4,460-pound triceratops fossil outside Drumheller, Alberta. The 65-million-year-old specimen had been exposed by erosion.

Update: This post has been updated with new dimensions for the fossil tail, based on a recent correction made by CBC News.

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