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Baby dinosaur? Red Wing rock collector has faith he found something special

Fossil or fluke, a Red Wing rock collector believes this rock is a fossil of a baby dinosaur's face.1 / 3
This piece, resembling amber, may contain a slug, which if true would be a rare find.2 / 3
Mitchell Voss3 / 3

RED WING - Mitchell Voss has made a couple of big finds while indulging in his rock-collecting hobby -- maybe.

The Red Wing resident is nearly convinced he's found at least two unique fossils. One is a piece resembling amber which he believes contains a slug, which if true would be a rare find. The second is an otherwise normal-looking rock that has an imprint resembling a dinosaur's face.

"I'm thinking it's a dinosaur baby that died at birth," Voss said. He admits the imprint could've been left by a bird, or may simply be a strange geologic formation.

But Voss has faith.

"I'm calling it a dinosaur baby until they tell me different."

Voss found the rock while fishing the Mississippi River near Barn Bluff. He threw it, along with several other rocks, into a collection cup, unaware of the rock's uniqueness until after he cleaned it. At that point he was shocked by his discovery.

Recently he's been boning up on rocks and fossils, looking to learn as much about the subject as he can. He'd also like someone to verify the rocks' significance. If they're truly rare fossils, Voss hopes they'll lead to a financial payoff.

But verifying their authenticity is a process Voss isn't quite sure how to navigate. He believes a university may be able to help him.

A call placed to the University of Minnesota on Wednesday by the R-E was not returned.

Voss found his rock which possibly contains a slug back in 2000.

He'd just begun to collect rocks, a pastime he found cathartic, as he struggled with a personal hardship. He had just broken up with the mother of his children, he said.

"I started picking up rocks as self-therapy," Voss said.

During the tough times, collecting rocks reminded Voss that things weren't all bad, he said. And through his hobby he may have discovered a sense of optimism.

"I'm always looking for a gemstone," Voss said. "Don't just pass up a rock. A rock could be a whole new life for you. You never know when you're going to find a gem."