Melbourne Museum is preparing to welcome a remarkable addition to its world-leading display of natural history – a 67-million-year-old triceratops skeleton hailed as one of the most complete, and best preserved, dinosaur fossils ever unearthed.
Minister for Creative Industries Danny Pearson today announced the acquisition of the one-tonne fossil, which will go on display at Museums Victoria’s flagship Carlton campus in 2021.
The gigantic skeleton dating to the late Cretaceous period was discovered on private land in Montana, USA in 2014 and is currently being extracted from rock at a depth of 1.5 metres. Some 270 bones, close to 90 per cent of the skeleton, have been recovered and excavation is continuing.
Featuring a full spine and a 99 percent complete skull, the fossil is one of the most significant dinosaur finds ever made.
Measuring six to seven metres from tip to tail and standing more than two metres tall, the fossil is larger than a full-grown African elephant.
Not only will the fossil be a major attraction for Victoria, it will be a boon for scientific research, helping to crack the code of how one of the world’s best-loved dinosaurs lived.
The specimen was discovered by a fossil collector who spotted a pattern on a sandstone rockface looked like part of a dinosaur tail.
As part of the state collection at Museums Victoria, the triceratops will join other dinosaur fossils including ‘The Cape Patterson Claw’, a Theropod claw that was the first dinosaur bone found in Australia in 1903.
The fossil of the tri-horned herbivore will become part of a Museums Victoria collection of more than 17 million items that explore our history, celebrate our identity and form the basis of world-leading scientific research.
As stated by Minister for Creative Industries Danny Pearson
“Museums Victoria offers incredible experiences for visitors and world-class research behind the scenes – it’s fitting that Melbourne Museum will now host one of the most important dinosaur discoveries in history.”
“This triceratops fossil will be a must-see attraction for all ages and a major new attraction for Victoria.”
As stated by Museums Victoria CEO Lynley Crosswell
“This is a globally significant addition to the State Collection that’s exciting not just for Victoria but for all of Australia.“
“We know our triceratops will delight and amaze audiences, and it will inspire us to consider the remarkable wonder and fragility of life on Earth.“