A Huge T-Rex Dinosaur skull was discovered in Montana. It is one of the few nearly complete skulls which have been unearthed to date. The team of paleontologists was exploring through North Montana for dinosaur fossils.
Two of the volunteers, Jason Love and Luke Tufts, noticed some bone fragments scattered on a hillside. These were big bones, bearing the pattern of a large carnivore. Upon further digging into the sandstone, it became clear that they had discovered the skull of a Tyrannosaurus rex – the best known of its kind.
Paleontologists Greg Wilson from the University of Washington led the team to explore for dinosaur fossils in the Hell Creek area.
The Hell Creek area contains many late Cretaceous fossils. It is well studied by experts, who hope to answer scientific questions about life on Earth, in that time and place.
After a month’s work by a dozen people, the skull was slowly but surely dug up out of the hill where it had stayed for 66 million years. The team moved 20 tons of rock to unearth the fossil. It was then put in a plaster cast for protection and later transported to the museum. The package weighs around 2,500 pounds, including the rock and plaster.
The skull is around four feet in length and it belonged to a dinosaur that lived to be around 15-years-old, according to the size of the skull. The average T-rex had lived around 25 to 30 years.
While excavating the skull, the team found other bones too – parts of the hips and pelvis, ribs, and vertebrae- all from the same animal. So far, 20 percent of the skeleton was uncovered. This ranks the newly discovered T-rex among the 25 best-preserved fossils ever found.
The right side of the skull was preserved better than the left one. Even the teeth remained in place. After the plaster is removed, paleontologists will figure out whether the left side of the skull is there too. It might take a year’s work to prepare the fossil for exhibition and to separate the rock from the bone.
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Image Source – Wikipedia