Paleontologists with the University of Washington’s Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture recently made a major discovery. They have found a 66.3 million year old T. rex skull.
A University of Washington news release notes, “The team, led by UW biology professor and Burke Museum Adjunct Curator of Vertebrate Paleontology Greg Wilson, discovered the T. rex during an expedition to the Hell Creek Formation in northern Montana — an area that is world-famous for its fossil dinosaur sites. Two Burke Museum paleontology volunteers, Jason Love and Luke Tufts, initially discovered pieces of fossilized bone protruding from a rocky hillside. The bones’ large size and honeycomb-like structure indicated they belonged to a carnivorous dinosaur. Upon further excavation, the team discovered the T. rex skull along with ribs, vertebrae, and parts of the jaw and pelvis.”
The news statement further notes that “T. rex was one of the largest meat-eating dinosaurs to ever roam the Earth. Measuring an average of 40-feet long and 15 to 20-feet tall, T. rex was a fierce predator with serrated teeth and large jaws.”
Known to be only the 15th almost-complete T. rex skull in the world today, such finds are very rare.
According to the press release, “The T. rex skull and other bones are currently covered in a plaster jacket — similar to a cast used to cover a broken bone — in order to protect the skull during transport… After removing the fossil from display, the Burke’s paleontology team will begin preparing the fossil by removing the rock surrounding the bone, which may take a year or more.”