Paleontologists at the Seattle’s Burke Museum have reasons to celebrate: they have recently found large parts of the skeleton of a giant Tyrannosaurus Rex specimen, including the complete skull. The next thing they will do is to display it in the museum, for visitors to see it.
Paleontologists at the Seattle’s Burke Museum are thrilled with the discovery. The massive skull of the T-Rex is almost complete: it measures 4 feet long and weighs 2,500 pounds. They have also found other parts of the skeleton, including ribs, vertebrae, and hips. Nevertheless, the bones they have so far only make up 20% of the dinosaur’s body.
The Tyrannosaurus Rex is deemed to have lived about 66 million years ago. The size of the skull makes researchers believe that the animal mush have been 15 years old.
Gregory Wilson (University of Washington) led the researchers’ team that made the discovery. The newly found fossils were called Tufts-Love after the paleontologists who found the first fragments of bones (the vertebrae) last summer. Professor Wilson declared on behalf of the museum:
“We think the Tufts-Love Rex is going to be an iconic specimen for the Burke Museum and the state of Washington and will be a must-see for dinosaur researchers as well.”
The expedition in search for the Tyrannosaurus Rex remains took experts almost a year. They had to remove 20 tons of rock in order to find the scattered pieces. At first, they didn’t know that they would come upon the remains of a T. Rex, although the first fragments of bones did suggest it could be a carnivore species.
Specialists want to investigate next the strength of the jaws of the dinosaur, and the skull is perfect for the analyses. The same fossil can help them determine the cause of death.
Tyrannosaurus Rex was a widespread species of dinosaurs. It was a bipedal theropod, and it had two short upper limbs.
The discovery of the skull is important as there are only 14 other nearly complete Tyrannosaurus Rex skulls that have been found throughout the years. The paleontologists’ team hopes to find the other parts of the skull as well, in order to complete the puzzle. They think the rest of it is still buried in that site and they intend to return there next summer for more exciting discoveries.
The skull of the T. Rex arrived at the Burke Museum on August 18. Visitors can see the fossil starting August 20, but the one-item exhibition is nor permanent.
Image courtesy of: Wikipedia