T. rex skull prep can be watched live by public

It’s not quite “Jurassic Park,” but the public will be allowed to watch paleontologists prep a 3,000-pound Tyrannosaurus rex skull “live.”

Researchers at the University of Washington Burke Museum will be removing the rock surrounding the skull over the next several months, revealing the specimen. The work will be done in a lab that’s part of the Burke’s Testing, Testing 1-2-3 special exhibit. The exhibit has three working labs and an imaging room that showcases the work being done every day. 

The skull, which is 4 feet long, is 1 of just 15 “reasonably complete” skulls ever discovered.


“The bones we’re seeing so far are among the best I’ve seen,” said Michael Holland, Burke Museum fossil preparator in a press release.

The skull was discovered in summer 2016 in the Hell Creek Formation in northeast Montana by Greg Wilson, a University of Washington biology professor and his team. 

“This is going to be one of the most complete T. rex specimens in the world. And it’s gorgeous in terms of its preservation — the bone is spectacular,” said Wilson, who is also a Burke Museum curator of vertebrate paleontology. “I’m super excited to be able to bring this to the Burke, the Pacific Northwest and the University of Washington.”

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