Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Notre Dame Paleontologist Finds Damage Done To T. Rex Skull

Date:
September 30, 1997
Source:
University Of Notre Dame
Summary:
The skull of what is believed to be the largest Tyrannosaur on record has been seriously damaged by poachers on the northeastern Montana cattle ranch where the fossilized dinosaur skeleton was found, according to University of Notre Dame paleontologist J. Keith Rigby.

GLASGOW, Mont. -- The skull of what is believed to be the largest Tyrannosaur on record has been seriously damaged by poachers on the northeastern Montana cattle ranch where the fossilized dinosaur skeleton was found, according to University of Notre Dame paleontologist J. Keith Rigby.

Related Articles


The damage was discovered today when Rigby and his field crew, including Notre Dame students, returned to the site and found that two-thirds of the left side of the skull was missing. Both of the lower jaws also were missing.

The FBI in Great Falls took possession last Friday of two fossilized jaws that are believed to belong to the Tyrannosaur discovered by Rigby. The bones were turned over to the FBI by two unidentified people, according to news media reports. The federal Antiquity Act protects fossils on federal land. No arrests have been announced.

"This is about as bad as I could have imagined," Rigby said today. "We had a virtually complete skull and now I'm wondering what I can do to repair the damage."

Rigby and a crew of volunteers from the Earthwatch Institute discovered the skeleton this summer in a vast dinosaur graveyard near the Fort Peck Reservoir.

The fossil, which was nearly complete, is either a Tyrannosaurus rex or something very much like it. Certain aspects of the anatomy are different than the 15 or so known skeletons of T. rex, according to Rigby, and it appears to exceed all measured skeletons of the dinosaur. "What we do know," he said, "is that this is the largest carnivore on the planet."

Unable to complete the excavation this summer, Rigby and his assistants covered the site for the winter. However, former owners of the cattle ranch on which the fossils were found entered the site two weeks ago and began digging up the bones that remained in the ground. The ranchers contend they still own the land, although a title search indicates it now belongs to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Farm Service Agency.

Federal law enforcement officers descended on the site Sept. 14 and forced the former owners to vacate the premises.

Situated in the picturesque badlands of eastern Montana, the site lies in the Hell Creek, a geological formation famous for preserving dinosaur bones. The bones date from the end of the Cretaceous period 66 million years ago. In the Late Cretaceous, the now bond-dry site appears to have been a river channel. When the dinosaurs died, their bones washed into the channel and collected together there. Sediments covered and preserved the bones until they were discovered in July by the Notre Dame/Earthwatch team.

Judging from the position of both surface bones and the bones so far unearth, Rigby believes the bone bed might cover 15 acres, making it one of the largest dinosaur graveyards of the Late Cretaceous ever found.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University Of Notre Dame. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University Of Notre Dame. "Notre Dame Paleontologist Finds Damage Done To T. Rex Skull." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 30 September 1997. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1997/09/970930051830.htm>.
University Of Notre Dame. (1997, September 30). Notre Dame Paleontologist Finds Damage Done To T. Rex Skull. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1997/09/970930051830.htm
University Of Notre Dame. "Notre Dame Paleontologist Finds Damage Done To T. Rex Skull." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1997/09/970930051830.htm (accessed December 20, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Fossils & Ruins News

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Researchers Bring Player Pianos Back to Life

Researchers Bring Player Pianos Back to Life

AP (Dec. 17, 2014) Stanford University wants to unlock the secrets of the player piano. Researchers are restoring and studying self-playing pianos and the music rolls that recorded major composers performing their own work. (Dec. 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Domestication Might've Been Bad For Horses

Domestication Might've Been Bad For Horses

Newsy (Dec. 16, 2014) A group of scientists looked at the genetics behind the domestication of the horse and showed how human manipulation changed horses' DNA. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Mozart, Beethoven, Shubert and Bizet Manuscripts to Go on Sale

Mozart, Beethoven, Shubert and Bizet Manuscripts to Go on Sale

AFP (Dec. 16, 2014) A collection of rare manuscripts by composers Mozart, Beethoven, Shubert and Bizet are due to go on sale at auction on December 17. Duration: 00:57 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Old Ship Records to Shed Light on Arctic Ice Loss

Old Ship Records to Shed Light on Arctic Ice Loss

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 15, 2014) Researchers are looking to the past to gain a clearer picture of what the future holds for ice in the Arctic. A project to analyse and digitize ship logs dating back to the 1850's aims to lengthen the timeline of recorded ice data. Ben Gruber reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins