On Wednesday, I realized I was not a cool 5-year-old. I suppose I always knew this.
Sure, I did cool things. I mean, I climbed trees and jumped in puddles and was generally pretty into Cardinals baseball and also sno cones. And that all sounds well and good.
But then I read this story about 5-year-old Wylie Brys, who — with his dad — discovered a dinosaur fossil, which is being excavated this month in Mansfield, Tex.
And now I'm forced to admit that my 5-year-old self was definitely not that rad. Not even close. Wylie Brys is straight crushing childhood.
Wylie goes poking around for fossils fairly regularly with his father, Tim Brys, who works at the Dallas Zoo. This particular find happened on land behind a suburban shopping center, not far from a grocery store.
On this trip, Wylie walked up ahead of his dad, Tim Brys told The Post in a telephone interview. When he came back, Wylie had a chunk of bone with him. Tim Brys asked his son to show him where he found it.
"My dad told me it was a turtle," Wylie told the Dallas Morning News. "But now he's telling me it's a dinosaur."
Said his father of the find: "It was a pretty good size and I knew I had something interesting."
Southern Methodist University scientists believe the fossil may be about 100 million years old.
Here are the details on the fossil and the dig, via the Dallas Morning News:
The fossilized bones could belong to a nodosaur, a rare find of a land-dwelling dinosaur in Texas. Dale Winkler, a professor of paleontology at SMU, described the pony-sized nodosaur as "armored beach balls that floated out to sea."
"Quite rare to find a dinosaur in this area," said Michael Polcyn, Winkler’s colleague at SMU.
While the fossils were found in September, it took over seven months to get the necessary permits to dig up the bones, with the Dallas Zoo helping handle some of the paperwork. Once they had permission, the scientists started digging Friday.
Winkler told the newspaper that crews will continue to look for other fossils at the site for about a week before construction resumes in the area. Paleontologists will clean and then study the specimen at SMU.
Wylie — who was 4 when the fossil was first discovered but has since had a birthday — is a pretty average little dude, his father said. He likes dinosaurs. He likes being outside, and getting dirty.
"He's a little kid," Tim Brys told The Post. "He likes playing in dirt as much as finding the fossils, I think."
Brys told the Dallas NBC affiliate that his son's discovery "was awesome, it was really exciting."
He added: "It's probably a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. And he was four."
Here are a few more photos from the site: