An extremely rare pregnant Tyrannosaurus Rex dinosaur skeleton first found in Montana has been put on display, but Americans who want to see it for themselves may have quite a journey ahead of them.
Montana has a history of groundbreaking dinosaur discoveries.
North America’s first identified dinosaur remains were found there in 1854 near Judith Landing in Missouri River Breaks National Monument.
Naturalist Ferdinand Hayden is said to have found the remains of what paleontologist Joseph Leidy determined to be a duck-billed dinosaur named “Trachodon”.
It is also the state where the world’s first was identified T rex was found in 1902 in the Hell Creek area near Jordan by paleontologist Barnum Brown.
The latest skeleton to make headlines, dubbed “Barbara,” is one of only three pregnant T rex discovers. It will be on display at the Auckland War Memorial Museum Tāmaki Paenga Hira, in New Zealand, from Friday 2 December 2022.
Barbara was discovered by Nate Cooper, Clayton and Luke Phipps, Chris Morrow and Katie Busch in the Hell Creek Formation of northeastern Montana, buried in 66-million-year-old sediment.
The excavation of the skeleton was an arduous process that began with large earthmoving equipment, before progressing to shovels, trowels, knives and finally the minutely delicate work of paintbrushes, which eventually formed the petrified T rex.
Pathological examination by leading paleontologists indicates that the specimen was an adult female that was almost certainly pregnant (with eggs or young). Scientists believe that Barbara suffered a serious foot injury that would have limited her moments.
Without the ability to hunt prey, Barbara likely scavenged or fed food from other members of hers T rex business suit. The fact that her injury had healed suggests that she lived long after being injured, but most likely walked with a limp. She was lucky enough to recover to the point where she could mate.
Visitors to the museum will be able to see a healed metatarsal bone, which would probably have been the worst injury a huge animal like her could have suffered.
This is the first time Barbara has been made available for public viewing. Her skeleton is known for having several of the dinosaur’s largest bones in pristine condition, including the head and jaws.
Barbara is thought to be the eighth most complete T rex ever discovered (44.7 percent complete) and is 11.7 meters long and 3.4 meters high.
Barbara will be on display alongside Auckland War Memorial Museum’s other big draw, Tāmaki Paenga Hira, Peter de T rexin what will be the first time anywhere in the world that adult male and female T. rex will be displayed together.
“This is an incredible coup for the Auckland Museum and all New Zealanders, to have a unique opportunity to see a man and a woman T rex in the same room, at the same time. This dramatic display will be the envy of every museum around the world,” said David Gaimster, CEO of the Auckland Museum.
News week has contacted Auckland War Memorial Museum Tāmaki Paenga Hira for comment.