Scientists Reveal World's First Ever Complete T-Rex Skeleton
Scientists have revealed the world's first ever complete T-rex skeleton, saying the dinosaur fell to its death in a bust-up with a triceratops.
The 67-million-year-old remains were discovered in the Montana, United States, back in 2006, but are reported to have only been seen by a few dozen peoplen since.
Both the T-rex and the triceratops - nicknamed the 'Duelling Dinosaurs' - are preserved together in what is thought to be a predator-prey encounter, where each fought to the death.
Amazingly, their body outlines, skin impressions, and injuries - including the T-rex's teeth lodged in the triceratops' body - can still be seen.
It's taken years to extract the 14-ton skeletons and arrange their purchase and sale, but ths week it was announced they had been bought by the Friends of the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences for an undisclosed sum.
The group has donated the remains to North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences, which is due to start building an exhibition in 2021.
To mark the announcement, a series of incredible photos have been released, with experts describing the find as 'one of the most important paleontological discoveries of our time', not least because it features the only complete T-rex ever unearthed.
Dr Lindsay Zanno, head of palaeontology at the museum, said: "We have not yet studied this specimen; it is a scientific frontier.
"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.
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"This fossil will forever change our view of the world's two favourite dinosaurs."
Dr Eric Dorfman, director and CEO of the museum, added: "The museum is thrilled to have the unique opportunity to house and research one of the most important paleontological discoveries of our time.
"Not only are we able to uncover unknown details of these animals' anatomy and behavior, but our new dedicated facility and educational programs will allow us to engage with audiences locally, across North Carolina, and worldwide."
The fossils were found by a rancher, his friend and his cousin in 2006, who were believed to have come to a deal with the landowners.
The two dinosaurs then went to auction in 2013 at Bonhams in New York, but no bid met the reserve price of $6 million (£4.5 million).
While years of negotiations took place, they were reportedly locked away in labs or warehouses.
However, now the non-profit Friends of the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences has now bought them on behalf of the museum, thanks to donors.
The bodies remain entombed within sediment from the Montana hillside where they were discovered, and have not yet been studied.
Each bone is in its natural position, and museum scientists will have access to biological data that is typically lost in the excavation and preparation processes.
Construction on the exhibition is due to begin in Raleigh, North Carolina, in 2021.
Featured Image Credit: SWNS
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