T. rex Autopsy (Sorta)

Hi everyone! This is just a quick post, but I thought I might share an interesting experience I had today…

As some of you may know, the Dinotopia exhibition which had been shown for the past few months ended on May 25th. Our awesome museum volunteers and staff handled the paintings, leaving the fossils. Getting the fossils down to the collections room safely was my job, as well as the job of a few other very helpful and kind people.

However, there was one item we didn’t quite know how to fit into our geology and fossil collection room, and that was Mr. T the Tyrannosaurus rex. Mr T. is a cast of the skull of AMNH 5027, and although he isn’t as heavy as the real fossil, it’s still a task to carry Mr. T’s disassembled skull down a flight of steep, short stairs and through a doorway. The reason we had little space for Mr. T was due to the fact that we had lent him to another museum where people presently working had basically no idea on where Mr. T came from or whom he belonged to. Thanks to them for being such good sports about the whole thing and really helping us out! During the time Mr. T was away, the museum’s collections grew, and shelf space shrank. Oh well, when life give you lemons, am I right?

Mr. T's upper half.

Mr. T’s upper half. Photo by the author, 2015.

Two of our amazing volunteers brought the skull proper, and the rest of us were left with the lower jaw, which can easily be disassembled into two pieces. Mr. T. is a terrific cast of AMNH 5027 and really shows the skeletal anatomy of Tyrannosaurus’s skull in detail.

Mr. T's lower jaw disassembled. His head is in the distance. Photo by the author, 2015.

Mr. T’s lower jaw disassembled. His head is in the distance. Photo by the author, 2015.

After we arrived in the collections room, our space issue became even more apparent. After a long debate on where the skull should go, a shelf top was chosen. We still have to tie it to the wall (which we’re planning to do tomorrow), but it’s in a safe place and will be completely A-OK, so never fear!

Thar He Lies! Don't worry, there's foam under the skull. Photo by the author, 2015.

Thar He Lies! Don’t worry, there’s foam under the skull. Photo by the author, 2015.

We also got this really nice cast of one of Mr. T’s teeth. Check this out!

What big teeth you have! Photo by the author, 2015.

What big teeth you have! Photo by the author, 2015.

Mr. T was the last to go back into the collections room, but don’t worry, as we have a whole lot planned for our fossil collection in the near future.

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