Naturalis Biodiversity Center Starts T. rex Expedition

LEIDEN, THE NETHERLANDS, April 26, 2013 /CNW/ - Naturalis Biodiversity Center, Leiden, The Netherlands, will excavate a Tyrannosaurus rex  in Wyoming, USA. This excavation will take place from 29 April till 18 May in collaboration with the Black Hills Institute, Hill City, South Dakota, USA.

With the search for Tyrannosaurus rex, the King of the Dinosaurs, Naturalis wishes to bring the most popular, imaginative and iconic dinosaur in the world to The Netherlands. It will be the first original skeleton of a T. rex on display outside of the USA. In 2017, the newly renovated museum of Naturalis will open its doors. The new exhibit will showcase a Dinosaur exhibition demonstrating the diversity of these reptiles, in which T. rex will be the highlight.

Scientific value

Few fossils of T. rex are found, yet many questions remain unanswered. Using this fossil, researchers of Naturalis can contribute to science by providing answers to questions, new insights, or even new questions.

Promising find

Naturalis came into contact with T. rex expert Pete Larson from the Black Hills Institute. He knew a place where some fragmentary but nicely fossilized bones of a left foot were found. Often those smaller bones of a skeleton are the first to be lost and the fact that they were found together indicates that this new find may include the rest of the skeleton. According to Edwin van Huis, managing director of Naturalis Biodiversity Center, this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. "It is an unforgettable milestone in the almost 200-year history of Naturalis."

The carnivorous king

Tyrannosaurus rex lived near the end of the Late Cretaceous Period, 67.5 to 66.0 million years ago. It was one of the largest predators that wandered the earth. An adult could be up to 13 meters long and have a weight of 4000 to 5000 kilos. So far, only two T. rex skeletons were found which are more than 50% complete.

Follow the excavation

The entire excavation can be followed online. Expedition members will post their daily experiences on a news blog with text, images and film on http://www.naturalis.nl, in both Dutch and English. This blog will also appear on the website of http://www.nationalgeographic.nl (Dutch only).

Note for the editors

Invitation

Press Conference on the 26th of April at 11 AM at Naturalis, Leiden, The Netherlands.

SOURCE: Naturalis Biodiversity Center

For further information:

Information for the press: Astrid Kromhout, communication advisor, tel. +31-71-6-87-625 or astrid.kromhout@naturalis.nl