The Burke Museum is getting a new exhibit: A Tyrannosaurus rex skull. Seattle paleontologists unearthed the fossils in northern Montana last summer. It began when two museum volunteers, Jason Love and Luke Tufts, found fragments of large bones belonging to a carnivorous dinosaur.
Greg Wilson led the expedition and is Burke Museum’s adjunct curator of vertebrate paleontology. He says the excavation team had a feeling they were on the trail of a T. rex. Hear him describe it:
The four-foot-long skull was encased in rock and very fragile. To transport it to Seattle, the team had to put a plaster cast of sorts around the skull. With the help of local ranchers, they lifted the 3,500-pound cast onto a flatbed truck. The skull is just one of 15 known T. rex skulls in the world.
You can see the plaster-encased skull at the Burke Museum beginning Saturday, along with a femur and parts of the jaw.
Next spring, they will open the plaster up and start cleaning the rock away from the bone. Burke paleontologists found about 20 percent of the dinosaur and plan to return to the site next summer.