Cretaceous cold case of ‘dueling’ T. rex and Triceratops may finally be solved

The “Dueling Dinosaurs” fossils — the 67 million-year-old remains of what may be the most complete Tyrannosaurus rex and Triceratops on record, beasts that were possibly locked in combat when they died — are finally spilling their secrets. The iconic fossils are heading to the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences (NCMNS), where a cutting-edge interactive exhibit will be built around them, the museum announced today (Nov. 17).

The fossils are steeped in controversy. They’re remarkable specimens, thought to include 100% of both creatures’ bones, as well as body outlines, skin impressions and possibly even the remains of soft tissues and stomach contents. But after their discovery by commercial collectors in eastern Montana in 2006, the dinosaurs failed to sell at auction and were later involved in a lawsuit that attempted to redefine fossils as minerals. And the scientific community was torn about the fossils; many were excited to learn about the dinosaurs, but some said they were scientifically useless and others disliked that they were being sold by for-profit collectors.

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