dinosaur museum

August 2015 Newsletter

T.rex gets a brain scan
Estimated to be 66.4 million years old, the half ton skull of a female T.rex was found in Montana in 2013. Researchers think she died at about age 30. The skull was scanned inside a device known as the XXL tomograph in Germany, a process taking 45 hours and 1,500 separate exposures. It is said to be the highest resolution scan ever conducted on a T.rex skull. The results were presented in June 2015 after months of processing the data.
“In the past a head would have had to be broken to bits to examine it,” explained paleontologist Anne Schulp. A CT scan keeps it intact.
The shape of the inside of the skull reveals which brain areas were highly developed, indicating for example how good a T.rex’s eyesight was. The scan will also help in restoring the skull, revealing fractures before the work begins and enabling missing parts of the jaw to be reconstructed by 3D printing. Most of the skeleton has survived. Schulp said the only parts missing are one leg, the claws, teeth and the end of the tail.
It is considered to be among the five best T.rex fossils in the world and will go on display in Leiden next year as the only original T.rex on display outside of North America.
FYI:
The primary “villian” of Jurassic World is the genetically engineered Indomitus rex, which is a terrifying dinosaur.
These dinosaurs are even scarier because they actually existed.
Allosaurus:
This was one of the most dangerous dinosaurs of the Jurassic Period. Paleontologists have found fossils of numerous other species of dinosaur, such as Stegosaurus, riddled with Allosaurus bite marks.
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Life restoration of A. fragilis
Coelophysis bauri:
Even though this dinosaur was only around 44 pounds, fossil evidence shows they hunted in packs. They were also quite agile and had blade like cutting teeth.
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Ankylosaurus magniventris:
This dinosaur may not seem dangerous because it was a plant eater, but its club like tail was used as a defense mechanism. If it swung its heavy tail into another dinosaur it could generate enough force to crush bones.
Majungasaurus crenatissimus:
One of the few dinosaurs that is a known cannibal, this dinosaur had a skull that was different than most theropods. Their short snout made them well adapted for killing their prey by biting and holding it until it died…much like modern big cats.

Geri Lebold
Eduacation Director

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