Discovery about dueling dinosaurs fossil

For more than a decade, paleontologists have speculated about a single fossil that preserves skeletons of two of the world’s most famous dinosaurs, Tyrannosaurus rex and Triceratops. The bones are arranged as they once were in life, and the dinosaurs are practically intertwined.

The specimens are some of the best ever found and present a paleontological mystery.

Nobody knows if the beasts were entombed together by chance or if they were locked in mortal combat.

The fossil may represent a deadly battle between a Triceratops and a young T. rex.

The famed Dueling Dinosaurs fossil is finally coming to the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences in Raleigh.

This is thanks to the donations of private foundations and the city, county, and state governments to the nonprofit Friends of the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences. The amount of the purchase has not been disclosed.

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The mystery about dueling dinosaur fossil

dueling dinosaurs fossil

dueling dinosaurs fossil

In 2006, a fossil hunter named Clayton Phipps found a Triceratops pelvis while surveying a Montana ranch. The fossil consisted of a largely complete Triceratops, as well as a neighboring tyrannosaur.

The crew protected the fossil with burlap and plaster and hauled it from the Murrays’ ranch. The fossil spent years in storage at a private lab in Fort Peck, Montana.

Phipps and the Murrays tried to convince a museum to buy it, but they couldn’t find any takers.

Some paleontologists took issue with the way he had excavated it and cataloged the dig site.

The government regulates what happens to fossils found on federal land, but not on private land.

This means that private landowners can do whatever they want with fossils on their property, including selling them.

In 2013, Bonhams persuaded Phipps and the Murrays to try auctioning off the fossil. Despite mixed feelings about the auction, Phipps and the Murrays had significant costs to recoup, and they agreed.

The sale of the Dueling Dinosaurs failed to reach the $6 million minimum bid.

In 2013, Bonhams persuaded Phipps and the Murrays to try auctioning off the fossil.

Despite mixed feelings about giving up control over the buyer’s identity, Phipps and the Murrays agreed to recoup significant costs.

The sale of the Dueling Dinosaurs failed to reach the $6 million minimum bid.

Zanno reached out to Phipps years later through his confidant Pete Larson, president of the Black Hills Institute, a South Dakota commercial paleontology firm, to inquire about selling the Dueling Dinosaurs to the NCMNS.

In February 2016, Zanno and a team of museum staff visited the Long Island warehouse. Describing the experience, Zanno says it was awe-inspiring.

Although the negotiations went smoothly, the Dueling Dinosaurs had to go through years of grueling U.S. court battles in order to make it to Raleigh.

According to Mary Ann Murray, by the 2013 auction the Murrays had become aware that their former business partners Jerry and Robert Severson were considering filing a lawsuit.

In 2005, when the Murrays bought out the Seversons’ interest in the land, the Severson brothers retained two thirds of the land’s underlying mineral rights.

The Seversons claimed that their mineral rights gave them a share in the Dueling Dinosaurs—two of the best specimens ever found in Montana—and any profits resulting from their sale, including those from the sale of any replicas or other products made from the dinosaurs.

The Murrays own the land where fossils were found, but not the mineral rights. They went to court to get a judgment that fossils aren’t minerals, so that whoever owns the mineral rights can’t claim them.

In 2016, the Seversons won a case in federal district court that gave them majority ownership of the Dueling Dinosaurs.

However, the Murrays and Phipps appealed, and in 2018, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled in the Seversons’ favor.

Paleontologists are people who study fossils. They found out that the government thinks that fossils are the same as minerals, which means that the people who own the land where the fossils are found can now say that they own the fossils too.

This would make it difficult for paleontologists to do future digs on private land.

The 2,000-member Society of Vertebrate Paleontology, a consortium of museums, and a group of Montana landowners joined forces to file a brief on the Murrays’ behalf in an alliance of convenience.

The rallying around the lawsuit was a rare coming together of these groups, who don’t always see eye to eye on the U.S. trade in privately held fossils, according to David Evans, the vertebrate paleontology chair at the Royal Ontario Museum.

Phipps and the Murrays urged Montana’s state legislature to pass a law confirming that fossil rights belonged to landowners in 2019.

The bill passed unanimously, but the new law didn’t apply to the Dueling Dinosaurs because of the ongoing federal litigation.

In 2019, the Ninth Circuit agreed to rehear the case on appeal. In May 2020, the state court ruled that fossils were not minerals.

The Ninth Circuit affirmed in June that the Murrays owned the Dueling Dinosaurs and had the right to sell them, paving the way for the NCMNS acquisition.

Phipps says he is happy with the direction that the Dino Hunters show is going.

The controversy over private fossil sales

dueling dinosaurs fossil

dueling dinosaurs fossil

Many scientists were pleased to hear of the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences’ purchase of Dueling Dinosaurs, in contrast to the October sale of Stan, a famous and scientifically important T. rex.

The court order forced the institute to auction off the fossil in order to buy out a company shareholder. An anonymous buyer bought it for $31.8 million.

The paleontologists were concerned that the staggering price would sour the relationship between scientists and landowners and increase global fossil poaching.

Evans called the Dueling Dinosaurs announcement “a truly fantastic event for paleontology, particularly in light of what happened recently with the Stan auction.”

But not all scientists are rejoicing. Some, like Tyrannosaur expert Thomas Carr, a paleontologist at Carthage College in Kenosha, Wisconsin, are staunch advocates of banning the commercial sale of U.S. fossils.

He remains concerned that the purchase of Dueling Dinosaurs could be interpreted as an endorsement of what he sees as an unethical trade in irreplaceable fossils.

“It’s good that those specimens made it into a real museum, but on the other hand, what was the price tag? That [sale] opens up the issue of whether or not scientists and museums are becoming pawns in the commercial fossil trade.”

Carr estimates that more than 40 T. rex fossils—roughly half of all known ones—are in private or commercial hands and inaccessible to science.

A prehistoric duel?

dueling dinosaurs fossil

dueling dinosaurs fossil

With the ability to study the Dueling Dinosaurs, Zanno and her team can begin years of scientific work, including investigating whether the duo died in a fatal struggle.

In 1971, Polish and Mongolian paleontologists found a Velociraptor and Protoceratops fossil that had been buried after a sand dune collapsed.

This is one of the few fossils that captures both predator and prey. To tease out the Montana dinosaurs’ fate, researchers will need to work out precisely how—and when—each dinosaur was entombed,

and whether each bears the unmistakable signs of injury from the other, such as tooth gouges.

Zanno and her team have been granted permission to visit the original dig site, which they believe will help them resolve how the fossil was formed.

“If we couldn’t go to the site where the specimens were discovered and collect that data ourselves, then the specimens would be much less valuable from a scientific perspective,” Zanno says.

The fossil presents a unique opportunity to study both spectacularly preserved specimens of each ancient beast, whether or not the dinosaurs really dueled in life.

The tyrannosaur will help experts understand how T. rex went from hatchling to hulking predator.

Most experts think the tyrannosaur is a juvenile T. rex, which would make it one of just a few fossils of its kind, and by far the most complete.

Phipps believes that the fossil is Nanotyrannus, a pygmy tyrannosaur species that is controversial because most experts think it was actually young T. rex.

The bigger underlying question, in Lyson’s opinion, is the diversity of dinosaurs leading up to their extinction.

The rock surrounding the bone contains secrets that have yet to be revealed.

These secrets may include impressions of the dinosaurs’ skin and haloes of residue that may have formed as the animals’ soft tissues degraded.

Thanks to recent advances in paleontology, future scientists may find stomach contents or even vestiges of the dinosaurs’ original proteins within the stone.

“It’s going to be a very intricate job to expose the bones and not destroy the skin while doing that,” Johnson says.

Phipps is relieved that scientists have a chance to see the fossil and is already looking forward to a future trip to North Carolina.

He says that he wants to take his grandkids there someday and tell them that he was the one who found the dinosaurs, and that people will be able to see them forever.

F.A.Q dueling dinosaurs fossil

dueling dinosaurs fossil

dueling dinosaurs fossil

What was unusual about the Dueling Dinosaurs fossil?

The dueling dinosaurs fossil is an unusual artifact because it is the only known example of two dinosaurs fighting each other.

The fossil was discovered in 1924 in the Hell Creek Formation in North Dakota and is now on display at the Field Museum in Chicago.

Did the Dueling Dinosaurs ever sell?

A 67-million-year-old fossil pair known as “Dueling Dinosaurs” consists of a remarkably preserved T. … On Tuesday, that fight ended: The nonprofit organization Friends of the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences bought the dinosaurs for $6 million, according to the Charlotte Observer

How big is the Dueling Dinosaurs fossil?

The Dueling Dinosaurs Fossil is a large fossil that was discovered in North Dakota. The fossil is estimated to be between 24 and 30 feet long and 9 and 12 feet tall.

Where is the fighting dinosaurs fossil?

In 1971 a Polish-Mongolian team discovered this specimen embedded in the white sandstone cliffs of the southern Gobi Desert. It is considered a national treasure of Mongolia


The discovery of the dueling dinosaurs fossil is an important one. It provides us with more information about these two carnivorous dinosaurs.

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