First Tyrannosaurus rex skeleton to be displayed in Aotearoa

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A Tyrannosaurus rex skeleton is on show at Tāmaki Paenga Hira (Auckland War Memorial Museum) this month.

The Tyrannosaurus rex is 57 percent complete by bone density and is set up in a hunting position, 4m-high and 12m-long.

It is the first time this T-rex skeleton has been displayed anywhere, and the first time real T-rex fossils have been shown in New Zealand. Scientists have nicknamed the skeleton Peter.

Peter is one of about 32 adult T-rex skeletons to ever be discovered.

The giant fossil is on display until 4 September, and alongside it, the museum will run an immersive dinosaur performance.

Museum spokesperson Timothy Hart said Peter met a grim end in life. His legs were gnawed on by something big.

“It looks like he was probably killed by another T-rex, possibly a mother and a baby T-rex, ’cause there’s evidence of feeding from a large animal and a smaller animal, but still a T-rex.

More about this Tyrannosaurus rex skeleton

This T-rex was found in 2018 in a fossil-rich area called the Lance formation, near Wyoming in the western United States.

Scientists have found it was alive between 66 and 67 million years ago.

That means his bones have been fossilised, and subject to tens of millions of years of erosion, compression and movement within the Earth.

By bone density is 57 percent complete and is one of the top 10 most complete T rex in the world.

This skeleton has a distinct special feature – it has taken on a black colour from organic material that surrounded it as it lay in the Earth.

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