After five years of careful planning, the Zanno Lab is read to embark on a new research frontier:
The Dueling Dinosaurs.
Just acquired by the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences, the Dueling Dinosaurs are a Cretaceous cold case 67 million years in the making. Rapidly buried together in a single event, the specimen includes the best-preserved skeletons of Triceratops and T. rex unearthed to date — including the only 100% complete skeleton of T. rex yet discovered — preserved together in a potential predator-prey encounter. We have not yet studied or prepared the dinosaur carcasses and they remain entombed within sediment from the Montana hillside where they were discovered. Because of these rare burial conditions, each bone in the Dueling Dinosaurs two skeletons is in its natural position and we expect to have access to biological data that is typically lost in the preservation processes. Entombing sediment preserves extraordinary features such as body outlines, skin impressions and other soft tissues, as well as injuries and potential evidence of interaction, such as tyrannosaur teeth embedded in the Triceratops body.
In conjunction with the fossil acquisition, we have been designing a globally unique, behind-the-scenes visitor experience at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences in downtown Raleigh. The renovation will be located on the ground floor of the innovative Nature Research Center and will include high-tech exhibit spaces, an area where you can explore the tools and techniques we're using to study the specimen, and an new, exemplary science laboratory dubbed the “DinoLab,” where we will research the specimens in view of Museum guests. You will have a unique opportunity to enter the DinoLab and talk directly to us. This state-of-the-art facility will also feature video feeds and research updates so you can follow along live as we work to reveal and share our Dueling Dinosaurs discoveries.