Trenton, Ontario – Dinosaur specialists from Canada are working on fixing a Tyrannosaurus Rex skeleton, which will be exposed at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C in 2019. It has been called “The nation’s T.Rex”

“It’s pretty spectacular,” says paleobiologist Matt Carrano, the Smithsonian’s dinosaur curator, when first catching sight of the fully assembled, 38-foot-long beast. “First of all, for the obvious reason,” Carrano says. “It’s an actual, real Tyrannosaurus rex, standing in front of me,” NPR reported.

The T. rex, is one of the most well-represented of the large theropods. The Tyrannosaurus lived throughout what is now western North America, on what was then an island continent known as Laramidia and it had a much wider range than other tyrannosaurids. Fossils are found in a variety of rock formations dating to the Maastrichtian age of the upper Cretaceous Period, 68 to 66 million years ago. Credit: Taringa

The history behind the T.rex

The T.Rex skeleton was first found in 1988 by Kathy Wankel while she was out hiking with her family near Montana’s Fort Peck and is one of the finest examples of a T.rex ever discovered. This Tyrannosaurus is the first ever owned by the Washington, D.C. museum, so it will be a very significant exhibition that will mark a moment in history.

The Tyrannosaurus has only been exposed in pieces until 2014. Later, the Smithsonian Institution appropriated of the coveted fossil on a 50-year loan from its owner, the Army Corps of Engineers.

A group of curators, blacksmiths and technicians from the Research Casting International (RCI) in Trenton, Ontario, are responsible for assembling dinosaurs for museums all over the world and now are working hard on giving the T.rex its proper shape with a dynamic pose. “The old dinosaur bones are getting some dramatic and anatomically correct primping help,” as NBR stated.

“The dinosaur is one of the most complete T.rex skeletons ever unearthed, with more than 130 original pieces. But that still required the casting firm to fabricate 96 others, including the head, because the real one is too fragile to exhibit. They’re all held together by more than 1,000 feet of steel that pushes the total weight beyond 4,000 pounds,” The Washington Post reported.

Peter May, the head of RCI and the leader builder, said that putting these fossils into an anatomically correct position was no easy job for them. His team, along with Smithsonian scientists wanted to give the T.rex an exciting pose and that took them several months. Moreover, there is only a few months left for the display work to be finished, and later the skeletons will be unbuilt for transport to Washington, D.C.

Source: The Washington Post