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Dinosaur skull returns to New Mexico

August 31 , 2016

by Colton Shone

A dinosaur skull found in New Mexico nearly two decades ago is coming back home. KOB got a backstage look at where the fossils are housed during the fossil’s homecoming at the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science.

The Geoscience Collection room at the museum is restricted access, but KOB was able to get a chance to take a look inside. It houses hundreds of fossils from a 3-million-year-old camel and baby bison to an elephant head found at Elephant Butte.

But the crown jewel at the moment? The “Bisti Beast”.

“This dinosaur was discovered by a volunteer of the museum in 1997, we collected it in 1998,” said Museum Curator of Paleontology Dr. Thomas Williamson.

He says this is an incredible find because of how well preserved this 74-million-year-old skull is.

“There are some interesting things about this specimen; it has injuries to it. It has a hole in one of its lower jaw maybe it was bitten by something,” Williamson said.

It was on display at the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science for about ten years before the Smithsonian in Washington wanted to borrow it. It was seen by 30 million people when it was on display there.

If this dinosaur were walking around today, it’d be huge.

“It’s a large meat-eating dinosaur. It’s got a skull over a meter long,” he said. “It would have stood about 15 feet high at the shoulders, maybe be about 30 feet long and probably would have weighed about 3 tons. A very large animal.”

But it still would have been smaller than the more famous T-Rex. Now that it's home, the curator says New Mexicans can once again enjoy it on display starting Friday.



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