Impressive ‘dueling’ T. rex and triceratops fossils going on display


A fossilized pair of Cretaceous dinos known as the “dueling dinosaurs” were preserved in incredible condition with evidence suggesting that the two may have been locked in a mortal struggle before their demise.

The impressive and dramatic fossil specimen still only partially uncovered from its surrounding sandstone includes a tyrannosaurus rex and a triceratops, and it will be going on display at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences, The Charlotte Observer reported Tuesday.

Injuries and tyrannosaur teeth found embedded in the triceratops’ body suggest that the two were involved in a predator-prey scenario when they were preserved together, according to the museum. The two skeletons are among the best-preserved examples of each species, and the T. rex’s skeleton is the only example of a 100 percent complete specimen ever unearthed.

Because the sandstone around the fossils has been well-preserved and buried for about 67 million years, researchers are able to examine details like injuries and get rare access to information around the dinosaurs’ body outlines, tissues, and even the impressions their skin may have left behind. 

While the fossils are only just now heading to the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences for display, they’ve been unearthed for a while. They were discovered on a Montana ranch more than a decade ago, The Charlotte Observer reported, by amateur paleontologist Clayton Phipps and his team.

Phipps found the specimen but it was technically owned by the Murray family who purchased the land, and so they were tied up in a legal dispute for years and years. Eventually, for a price of $6 million, the dinosaurs were freed from storage.

The display of the dueling dinosaurs will be a bit unusual. As they’re still largely covered in sandstone, visitors to the museum will be able to see researchers slowly and meticulously uncovering the fossils live, another fascinating layer on top of an already impressive specimen.

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