Paleontologists from the Seattle Burke Museum have found one of the largest and oldest T. Rex skulls to date. The team who bumped in the fossil by accident ensures the fossil is almost complete, and dinosaur lovers will soon enjoy the findings on the museum.
According to paleontologists the T. Rex fossil is 66 million-years-old, and it’s nearly 4 foot long, along with the fossil researchers found jaw bones, ribs, hips and vertebrae belonging to the predator, which is about 20% of the animal. The discovery was made by biology professor Dr. Gregory P. Wilson, from the University of Washington along with two volunteers from the Burke Museum, Jason Love and Luke Tufts.
The volunteers discovered the fossil in an expedition to the Hell Creek Foundation in northern Montana, a location that is known for being rich in dinosaur fossils. Around 45 volunteers were in the area working for the Hell Creek Project.
The project’s initial objectives were spending a month collecting evidence and examine the environment were the predators used to live. Volunteers recovered invertebrates, plants and geology to understand the two-million years old setting when they came across the giant fossil.
An exciting discovery
The fossil has been nicknamed the “Tufts-Love Rex” in honor of the Burke Museum volunteers who discovered it along with Dr. Wilson. It took the entire team’s help to excavate the T. Rex’s fossil for a whole month.
Experts estimate the fossil weighs nearly 2,500 pounds, including the weight of the protective cast, and preliminary estimates position the fossil is around 85% the size of the largest T. Rex fossil found in history
“We think the Tufts-Love Rex is going to be an iconic specimen for the Burke Museum and the state of Washington and will be a must-see for dinosaur researchers as well,” said Dr. Wilson in a Burke press release.
The Tufts-Love Rex lived 66 million years ago and was nearly as tall and long as a city bus, according to researchers, the estimated age of the animal is 15 years old (dinosaurs lived up to 30 years old).
Researchers determined the T. Rex was alive during the Cretaceous Period and died around the Cretaceous- Paleogene mass extinction that occurred 66 million years ago. The team was able to determine the information due to the location where the fossil was found, which is coherent with the mass extinction.
This is the 11th T. Rex fossil discovered by the Burke Museum and according to researchers, the fossil is part of the rare scenario where the animal is found almost complete. There are only 25 fossils in the world that are as complete as this T. Rex. The fossil was carefully removed from the soil by paleontologists and put in a protective cast; Montana ranchers helped the team by transporting the discovery into a safe location.
The T.Rex skull was delivered to the Burke Museum recently for further examination. The museum announced the fossil would be shown to the public in its protective from August to October. Then, specialists will be dedicated to removing pieces of rock from the fossil for over a yer until the fossil is shown at the New Burke Museum in 2019.
Source: Burke Museum