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See The World’s Most Complete Triceratops Fossil At Melbourne Museum This March

Nicole de Souza Nicole de Souza - Staff Writer

A palaeontology expert looking over the right femur bone of Melbourne Museum Triceratops

Meet Horridus, a creature 67 million years in the making. With a massive frill and three horns, this triceratops will soon take over two levels of Melbourne Museum. Horridus is the world’s most complete and most finely preserved specimen. It’s exceptional quality also makes it one of the most important fossils in the history of palaeontology. See it with your own eyes when it makes its debut at Triceratops: Fate of the Dinosaurs later this year. This exhibition will open at Melbourne Museum on Saturday March 12. Tickets are on sale now.

Meet Horridus the Triceratops at Melbourne Museum

Horridus was originally found on private property in Montana, USA in 2014. Then, it spent time in Canada, where experts painstakingly prepared it for transportation to Melbourne. It arrived here in Melbourne in July last year, under the safe hands of Museums Victoria, home to the leading museum-based palaeontology research program in Australasia.

It was named after its species, Triceratops horridus, and will be the most complete dinosaur skeleton in any Australian museum.

The skeleton is 85 per cent complete, with 266 bones, and stretches out 6 to 7 metres long, and around 2 metres tall. The skull alone is 99 per cent complete, and weighs 261 kg. The full skeleton weighs over 1000kg. As the organs and soft tissues have decomposed, the sex of Horridus is unknown.

“Until you’ve seen Melbourne Museum’s Triceratops, you haven’t seen Triceratops at all,” said Dr Erich Fitzgerald, Senior Curator of Vertebrate Palaeontology at Museums Victoria.

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But, how do scientists know where each bone and bone fragment fit together?

Triceratops: Fate of the Dinosaurs

This is fascinating specimen will be on display in the upcoming exhibit, Triceratops: Fate of the Dinosaurs. Travel back in time to the Cretaceous period, and learn more about the landscapes in which it roamed. Meet the creatures that lived alongside Horridus, and explore the lineage of dinosaurs, all the way down to their bird descendants. Look back through time and learn more about the process of fossilisation.

“Grounded in leading edge science and connecting the long extinct world of Horridus with our world today, this exhibition will enthral and inspire all who experience it,” said Lynley Crosswell, CEO and Director of Museums Victoria.

Tickets are on sale now and are included with the price of museum entry. For adults, that’s $15, and for kids, it’s free! Bookings are essential.

This roaring exhibit will come to life on March 12. 
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