“Dueling Dinosaurs” fossil, Hidden from Science for Over a Decade, can Now be Studied by Researchers
After years of legal battles, the fossil called the “Dueling Dinosaurs” which was locked away for fourteen (14) years, is now, finally, on its way to the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences in Raleigh.
It was announced on Tuesday, November 17, 2020, that the nonprofit organization Friends of the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences will gift the “Dueling Dinosaurs” to the museum. However, the details of the acquisition were undisclosed.
Based on the report recently published by the National Geographic, the “Dueling Dinosaurs” fossil will be housed in a new expansion to the museum, including a state-of-the-art paleontology lab, that is set to open in 2022.
What made the “Dueling Dinosaurs” Special?
“The specimen includes the best-preserved skeletons of Triceratops and T. rex unearthed to date — including the only 100% complete skeleton of T. rex yet discovered — preserved together in a potential predator-prey encounter.”
– North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences, November 17, 2020
The said fossil preserved skeletons of two of the most popular dinosaurs in the world, the Tyrannosaurus rex and the Triceratops, and each bone have been in its natural position due to rare burial conditions.
According to Lindsay Zanno, head of paleontology at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences and associate research professor at North Carolina State University, the “Dueling Dinosaurs” are really a gem that’s been hidden away.
Furthermore, Tyler Lyson, a paleontologist at Denver Museum of Nature and Science, said, “there will literally be thousands of studies done on these fossils.” While Kirk Johnson, the director of the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History said that it going to be a very iconic specimen.
What Happened to the “Dueling Dinosaurs”
Did the dinosaurs die in a fatal struggle? Was it really a predator-prey encounter? There are still a lot of questions about the “Dueling Dinosaurs” fossil which still doesn’t have answers since the dinosaur carcasses have not been studied.
But now, Zanno and her team will soon be able to study the exquisitely preserved specimen and reveal its secrets. Moreover, the team has also gained permission to visit the original site where the fossil had been dug.
“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 T. rex and Triceratops. This fossil will forever change our view of the world’s two favorite dinosaurs.”
– Lindsay Zanno, head of paleontology at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences
Message from the Director of North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences
“The Museum is thrilled to have the unique opportunity to house and research one of the most important paleontological discoveries of our time.”
– Dr. Eric Dorfman, director and CEO of the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences.
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Source: National Geographic, North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences (NCMNS), Dueling Dinosaurs| North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences