Dinosaur Museum In Bid To Bring Rare Triceratops Skeleton To Britain
Dorchester’s award winning Dinosaur Museum has received an offer from an anonymous backer to bid for a rare skeleton of Triceratops that is being auctioned by Christies in Paris on April 16th.
Jackie Ridley, the Director of the Dinosaur Museum said the Triceratops is simply spectacular. “It would be really wonderful if we could bring the dinosaur to Britain and in particular The Dinosaur Museum in Dorchester”
She continued, “ Not only is it the only one of its kind in Europe, but generally Britain does not have any complete skeletons of this calibre. Most of the excavated dinosaurs in Britain are fragmentary in comparison. Triceratops was not native to Britain but it would be great for people to see such an important skeleton in the U.K”
The 7.5 metre (24 foot long) Triceratops, is the only one of its kind in Europe. The skeleton, Triceratops horridus a three-horned giant dinosaur was found in 2004 by rancher in the United States in North Dakota. The fossil skeleton is 70 percent complete and is mounted as a complete beast with the missing bones cast in resin from other specimens. It’s the fourth most complete skeleton of Triceratops yet found and is only the second almost complete dinosaur skeleton to go for sale by public auction.
The last fossil skeleton to be sold by auction, a Tyrannosaurus rex, was sold in New York by Sotheby’s in 1997. It was sold to a Chicago Museum for $8 million.
Unlike T rex that was a carnivore, Triceratops was a herbivore or vegetarian, however with its massive frilled skull and three long horns it was a formidable animal and in any battle with T rex could more than hold its own. The Triceratops skeleton weighs over 200 kilos or 440 lbs and dates to the late cretaceous period over 65 million years ago.
The museum is talking to another sponsor as it fears the funds offered from the anonymous backer may not be sufficient.
The Dinosaur Museum in Dorchester in the heart of Dorset’s World Heritage Jurassic Coast is the only museum in mainland Britain exclusively devoted to dinosaurs. Opened 24 years ago it attracts tens of thousands of visitors to Dorchester every year. Exhibits include dinosaur fossils and skeletons, full size dinosaur models and multi-media displays and has won awards for its hands-on exhibits.