Triceratops dinosaur skeleton put together again


Unpacking the Triceratops skeleton parts in Naturalis museum, photo by Pauline Broekema/NOS

Translated from NOS TV in the Netherlands:

Triceratops dinosaur skeletons will be together again

Today, 10:52

It was a unique excavation, in September in the United States. An expedition team of the Leiden Museum Naturalis then excavated in the state of Wyoming a whopping five skeletons of the 66 million year old dinosaur species Triceratops. Today, these bones are for the first time shown at Naturalis in Leiden. This happens when unpacking and cleaning the bones.

The researchers remove the plaster in which the bones are packed. Then the bones are cleaned one by one. Each grain of sand is removed with a dentist’s tools. The bones are prepared and reinforced to end up as complete skeletons in the museum. This precision work will probably take years. The missing parts will eventually be made with a 3D printer.

Little meat

The Triceratops with its two big horns and comb on its head is one of the most famous dinosaurs. “People find the skulls of this species quite often,” said expedition leader and paleontologist Anne Schulp in the NOS Radio 1 news show. “There was little meat on them, and therefore Tyrannosaurus rex left them alone. The rest of the skeleton was eaten by T. rex. So far, there were therefore only two skeletons of Triceratops known which were complete for more than half.”

Bones from this discovery are together five skeletons of both young and older animals. The discovery means very much for research about Triceratops, one of the last dinosaur species.

Chances are that many more bones of Triceratops will be found. In summer, the expedition team will return to dig further into the area in Wyoming.

“Already at school I was called Martijn Dinosaur”

Martijn Guliker of Naturalis can not wait until he will be allowed to work with the dinosaur bones. “It’s a beautiful big dinosaur with three of those beautiful big horns. Two above his eyebrows and one on his nose.”

As of December 19, anyone who will visit the Leiden museum may come and look at the work of the researchers. The museum has furnished a Dinolab, where from the end of 2016 on people will also be able to see the Tyrannosaurus rex. It was found in 2013 by the expedition team. The researchers hope that in 2018 at least one skeleton will be ready. Then T. rex and his main prey will be together again.

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8 thoughts on “Triceratops dinosaur skeleton put together again

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