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So the new museum of Naturalis Biodiversity Centre in Leiden, the Netherlands was opened the past weekend and besides having a completely new building and a bunch of new stuff. The T. rex Trix is also back from being on tour in our new dedicated dinosaur hall. But I wanted to share something particular and I'll leave showing the rest of the new museum to others. I volunteer at the museum in the dinosaur prep lab, and over the past years the dino lab team has been prepping away at a whole bunch of Triceratops horridus specimens. It was originally found in 2013 when the museum was looking for a T. rex. Instead they found a number of Triceratops bones in Wyoming. Still wanting a T. rex they looked on. Eventually this T. rex was to be what became the Trix specimen. One of the most complete T. rexes in the world. After getting the T. rex the museum went back to the first location to start digging up those Triceratops bones. It later turned out to be probably the biggest collection of post cranial bones of Triceratops ever found divided between two sites right next to each other. I joined the team about 3 years ago. At first we were just prepping a variety of the bones to see just what we had. It was soon decided that we'd prep one of the skeletons from the upper site and mount that in the new upcoming museum. In the upper site we only had 2 individuals so that it would be easier to distinguish between the different individuals as one of them was much smaller. And now the skeleton is done and standing proud in the new museum. The specimen, now named Dirk, was named for one of the volunteers. There's quite a few bones present. All of the remains were found disarticulated and we don't have a complete skull. We have the braincase, one brow horn, left squamosal, left quadrate, right quadratojugal, both nasals and both dentaries, left articular complex as well as the rostral beak. For the large limb bones we have almost all of them. We're only missing the coracoids and the left ulna. Most of the toe bones as missing but we have a few of the hind toe bones. We have partial vertebrae of most of the back and around half the ribs. The sacrum is missing but the rest of the pelvis has all the real bones. For the tail we only have a single vert and chevron. Personally I've mostly worked on the skull bones such as the nasals and dentary as well as vertebrae. I also did some putty work on the arm bones. All of the missing bones were 3d printed. The scans are mostly based on the Lane specimen. And who knows, maybe we'll have a few more Triceratops skeletons mounted in the future. But there's still a lot of prepping to do.
Hello fellow fossil enthusiasts, I should have posted this a long time ago, in fact I should have done it when I got home from the visit, but I guess I forgot... So here it is, with about 2 months of delay. So that day I went to the Naturalis museum in Leiden, Netherlands. I went there for a special reason: to see a record-holding fossil! And this legend is nothing less than Trix, the mighty T-Rex. What is special with Trix is that it's the only T-Rex fossil to be in a museum outside of America. Here is the story behind the beast: a couple were hiking in Montana, when they saw a big brown bone sticking out of the ground. They quickly contacted the Black Hills Institute, which acknowledged the find to be of a T-Rex. They contacted several museums to see who would be willing to dig it out, having quite a few denials, when they contacted Naturalis. Our Dutch museum jumped on the opportunity. But knowing that they didn't have the money to dig all of that out, they asked the public to donate money to them. I was one of the many donators, and gave 10$. With all the donations, and after about 2 years of work, the team managed to bring the beast home. It was a 12 m long female Tyrannosaurus rex, and they found around 80% of the skeleton!!! Thanks to this, the Naturalis is now one of the most important European museums, if not the world. Trix has already attracted a few millions of tourists, and even other museums; in fact it's soon going to Barcelona to be shown to the public there. Here are some photos that I took. At first, before seeing the actual showpiece, there was a hall with moving dinosaurs that co-habited with Trix. Seems like some of the chickens lost their feathers . Luckily not all chickens were naked. But the giant chicken had also forgotten to put his clothes on, and as you can see the ankykosaur wasn't much impressed Unfortunately this trike did not escape the giant naked chicken...
Hello! Some of you may have heard the news. The Netherlands now has it's own T. rex and it was unveiled today! This is the same T. rex that @chele and her husband found in Montana back in 2013. After that it was dug up by a team of Naturalis the natural history museum in Leiden in cooperation with the Black Hills Institute. This museum also bought the T. rex. Around 5 million euros was crowdfunded to make this possible. The skeleton was prepared in the Black Hills Institute by Pete Larson and his team. The T. rex is of the robust morph and thus probably a female. The animal has been named Trix after our former queen Beatrix. As of spetember 10th the skeleton will be viewable by the public for a time. As the museum is in the middle of a huge renovation the skeleton is temporarily housed in the only part that is open to the public now. I don't know the exact dates but the skeleton will go on tour and in 2018 the skeleton should get it's final resting place in the new dinosaur hall at the museum. The staff of the museum got a preview before the unveiling (I'm a volunteer at the fossil prep lab) so I was lucky enough that I could take some photos. So without further ado. Some pictures... I noticed that the pectoral girdle seems to be positioned really low compared to other reconstructions. Lastly a picture of one of the information panels. This shows how much of the skeleton is real. I've been told around 75% to 80% of the bone volume is present. Some more information on this T. rex. - The animal is now named Trix. After the former Dutch queen Beatrix. - Trix is in the top 3 of best preserved T. rexes. - The skeleton is of the robust morph. So it's probably female. - This is the only T. rex skeleton in the world that is mounted with the real skull. - The missing bones were 3d printed. Some mirrored versions of bones that were present. And some bones based on Sue, such as the feet. - Trix was prepped in the Black Hills Institute. - Trix is about the same size as Sue. - There are a lot of pathologies. This includes T. rex bitemarks on the jaw and broken ribs. - After this temporary exhibit and tour the skeleton will be permanently housed in the new dinosaur hall in Naturalis in Leiden. Because it's some part news, part fossil hunting trip and part museum visit I figured it best fitted being in general discussion.