The end of the T. rex expedition is in sight. John de Vos will be the last representative of Naturalis to leave the Triceratops excavation site on Friday afternoon, American time. The team from the Black Hills Institute will then continue excavating the Triceratops remains, as ever more bones continue to emerge!
To date, the excavation team has already registered forty bones and bone fragments from the Triceratops skeletons. The larger bones are wrapped in plaster bandage but sometimes too many of the small bones are grouped together to be wrapped individually. These small specimens are then packed together, in a chunk of the surrounding sedimentary rock. At the Black Hills Institute lab, each will be neatly and accurately further prepared. Yesterday, the team was hard at work on one chunk containing more than twenty bones, together weighing a little more than 7500 kg! Each time the team secures a block of stone, more bones seem to be released from below. For example, a fragile section from the lower jaw of the adult Triceratops emerged in just that way. The upper jaw containing the teeth still in their original position in the skull of the older juvenile was also excavated. The adult specimen is perhaps one of the most complete Triceratops skeletons ever found.
The T. rex Naturalis hoped to discover will definitely be making its way to the Netherlands. Later this year, an expedition will be organised to excavate a second T. rex find. We will keep you up to date on any developments!