Scientists have discovered the skeleton of a Tyrannosaurus rex killed in a deadly duel with a triceratops.
Until now, a complete skeleton of the iconic beast has never been found.
Some 67 million years ago, a T-Rex jumped on its prey – an armored, rhino-like vegetarian dinosaur Triceratops, and the pair both died.
Their fossil remains were buried in sediment in Montana, USA, where they remained hidden until 2006.
After their discovery, the “Dueling Dinosaurs” have only been seen by a few selected experts so far.
Incredibly, the body outlines of the huge animals, skin marks and injuries – including tyrannosaur teeth stuck in the triceratops’ body – can still be seen.
It took years to extract the 14-ton skeletons and arrange their purchase and sale, so only a few dozen people are reported to have seen them so far.
But it was announced this week that they had been purchased by the Friends of the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences for an undisclosed amount.
The group has donated them to the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences, which will begin construction on their exhibit in 2021.
And they released incredible photos of the remains to mark the announcement.
It has been described as “one of the most important paleontological discoveries of our time” – and is the only 100% complete T-rex ever found.
Dr. Lindsay Zanno, the museum’s chief of paleontology, said, “We haven’t studied this specimen yet; it’s a scientific frontier.
“Conservation is phenomenal, and we plan to use every available technological innovation to reveal new information about the biology of T. rex and Triceratops.
“This fossil will forever change our view of the world’s two favorite dinosaurs.”
Dr. Eric Dorfman, museum director and CEO added, “The museum is delighted to have the unique opportunity to house and explore one of the most important paleontological discoveries of our time.
“Not only will we be able to uncover unknown details of the anatomy and behavior of these animals, but our new dedicated facility and educational programs will enable us to interact with it locally, in North Carolina and worldwide. audience.”
A farmer, his friend and his cousin found the fossils in 2006, and they are said to have struck a deal with the landowners.
The ‘Dueling Dinosaurs’ themselves went up for auction at Bonhams in New York in 2013, but none of them matched the $ 6 million reserve price.
During years of negotiations, the unique fossil remained locked up in laboratories or warehouses.
But thanks to donors, the nonprofit Friends of the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences has now purchased them on behalf of the museum.
Dinosaur bones have not been studied and remain buried in the sediment of the Montana hill where they were discovered.
Each bone is in its natural position, and museum scientists will have access to biological data that is typically lost in excavation and preparation.
Construction of the exhibition in Raleigh, North Carolina, will begin in 2021.