WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - A rare find makes for an exciting future exhibit at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences.
The Dueling Dinosaurs specimen, which is made up of a Tyrannosaurus rex and Triceratops horridus, is considered by experts to be the best-preserved skeletons of the two beloved dinosaurs.
Friends of the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences, a nonprofit organization, acquired the fossilized animals using private donations and gifted the specimen to the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences.
Dr. Lindsay Zanno, the Head of Paleontology at the museum and Associate Research Professor at North Carolina State University, said the two date back 67 million years.
The carcasses have not been studied and remain entombed within sediment from the Montana hillside. The discovery contains the only 100% complete skeleton of T. rex.
“We have this long process to go through in front of the public of cleaning them from the settlement and learning about them,” Dr. Zanno said. “We haven’t yet studied them but we hope to learn more about the biology of these animals and maybe some more about their lives and their deaths and the mystery of their burial.”
The mystery of their burial made the find even more unique, as the two appear to be preserved together in a potential predator-prey encounter.
Dr. Zanno said the specimen weighs 30,000 pounds and the museum is expanding to accommodate the rare find.
Construction is expected to begin in 2021, with the exhibit opening in 2022.
To follow the progress, go to DuelingDinosaurs.org.