Scientists have revealed the world’s first ever completely preserved T-rex skeleton, which was found after it fell to its death after a deadly duel with a triceratops.
The remains were thought to be 67-million-year-old and was first discovered in 2006.
The pair was dubbed the “Dueling Dinosaurs” after both were preserved together in what was thought to be a predator-prey encounter, where both of them fought to the death.
The fossils were discovered by professional “fossil hunters” – a cattle rancher cowboy and two pals – in Montana. The body outlines, skin impressions, and injuries, including the tyrannosaur teeth stuck in the triceratops body, were easily seen.
Only a few dozen people have seen the skeletons so far, which took years to extract. However, Friends of the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences announced that they bought the skeleton for an undisclosed sum. Local reports said the group will start building their exhibition in 2021.
“We have not yest studied this specimen; it is a scientific frontier,” said Dr. Lindsay Zanno, head of paleontology at the museum. “The preservation is phenomenal, and we plan to use every technological innovation available to reveal new information on the biology of the T-.rex and Triceratops.”
“The fossil will forever change our view of the world’s two favorite dinosaurs,” she added.
The “Dueling Dinosaurs” first went into auction in 2013 at Bonhams in New York, but no bid met the reserve price of $6m. The fossils were reportedly locked away in labs or warehouses.
But nonprofit Friends of the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences has now bought them on behalf of the museum, thanks to the help of generous donors.