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Colorado scientists unveil 3D-printed skull of rare Tyrannosaur Wednesday

WOODLAND PARK, Colo. — A piece of history has found itself in the present, thanks to the help of some modern technology.

The skull of a rare and new genus of Tyrannosaur has been 3D printed.

Triebold Paleontology and Rocky Mountain Dinosaur Resource Center (RMDRC) unveiled the 3D-printed skull of the Terataphoneus curriei in Woodland Park on Wednesday. The name stems from the Greek words for “murder monster.”

This specific skull, however, is named Sir William, after being discovered by William Stein in the Judith River Formation in Montana in 2001. Throughout the years, members of the RMDRC field crew have taken meticulous care of the artifact under the supervision of RMDRC Curator, Anthony Maltese.

Maltese was able to develop the skull using scanning and printing technology with the assistance of Evan Sonnenberg, director of 3D technology at Triebold Paleontology.

The skull was believed to be Terataphoneus curriei when it was discovered in 2001. After the skull was digitally assembled and printed, the suspicions of the paleontologists were confirmed.

This is a genus of a Tyrannosaurine theropod dinosaur, which lived in the Utah and Montana region during the Campanian age in the Cretaceous period — 77 million years ago.

Thrilled to showcase the discovery, Maltese unveiled the skull alongside a panel of RMDRC paleontologists. The audience was allowed to touch the real fragments of the bone specimen and chat with the panel about the animal. They discussed the location where the fossil was discovered, the history of this specific genus of dinosaur and why they believe this specimen had injuries to its arm and face.

“The talk I’ll be giving on Wednesday will be a whirlwind tour of BCT’s discovery, misidentification, super difficult excavation and preparation,” Maltese said. “We finally can complete the map of the Terataphoneus skull with new digital technology.”

The Rocky Mountain Dinosaur Resource Center in Woodland Park possesses a beautiful and extensive collection of dinosaur fossils.

Dinosaur enthusiasts can view the display which now contains the newly restored Teratophoneus skull.

“Triebold Paleontology turns 35 years old this year. The unveiling of Sir William is important and is a significant contribution to the study of our past and the prehistoric world. Exhibit visitors will be amazed when they see the incredible diversity of Tyrannosaurs and the mysteries of our planet’s ancient past,” Maltese said.

3D printed skull of rare Tyrannosaur unveiled, dubbed ‘Murder Monster’

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