Melbourne Museum secures world’s most complete Triceratops: ‘Visitors will come from around the world’

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Melbourne Museum secures world’s most complete Triceratops: ‘Visitors will come from around the world’

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Melbourne Museum has secured a groundbreaking paleontological discovery, the world's most complete and preserved Triceratops fossil.

The Triceratops fossil has been acquired by Melbourne Museum and will remain on display for the Melbourne public forever, with its grand reveal to be staged in a monumental two-level exhibit that opens on March 12.

Triceratops: Fate of the Dinosaurs promises to be an immersive experience in which Melburnians will walk through the environments that the great horned dinosaur roamed, meet the creatures it lived alongside, and discover its eventual destiny.

Triceratops skeleton

  • 266 bones have been recovered, making up 85% of the skeleton.
  • The skull of the fossil is 99% complete and weighs 261kg.
  • Horridus has an enormous frill and three fearsome horns, the fossil weighs more than 1000kg, is 6- 7 metres long and stands around 2 metres tall.

Stay up to date with what’s happening in and around Melbourne here.

“We are thrilled to have this internationally significant Triceratops on permanent display in Melbourne Museum,” Museums Victoria CEO Lynley Crosswell said.

“This is the most complete and finely preserved Triceratops fossil ever discovered and visitors will come from around the world to see Horridus, whose forever home is right here in Melbourne. Grounded in leading edge science and connecting the long extinct world of Horridus with our world today, this exhibition will enthral and inspire all who experience it.”

Named after  Triceratops horridus,  the species  to which  Horridus  belongs, this Triceratops roamed the Earth during the late Cretaceous, around 66-68 million years ago.

It was discovered in 2014 on private property in Montana, USA and in July 2021, was carefully packed into eight crates – some as big as a car and weighing up to 50kg – and couriered from Canada to Melbourne in July 2021.

The new Triceratops is the most complete dinosaur fossil ever acquired by an Australian museum.

Melbourne Museum says the exhibition, which will be free with standard museum entry, will offer visitors a trip through time, that will trace the dinosaur lineage all the way to their present-day descendants.

“Horridus the Triceratops is a simply spectacular fossil, with the science behind Triceratops revealed like never before,” Museums Victoria’s Senior Curator of Vertebrate Palaeontology, Dr Erich Fitzgerald, added.

“Until you’ve seen Melbourne Museum’s Triceratops, you haven’t seen Triceratops at all.” 

Also at Melbourne Museum:

Treasures of the Natural World (closes this Sunday!): Melbourne Museum is currently hosting some of the world’s most precious and absorbing treasures from London’s renowned Natural History Museum, including artefacts from Charles Darwin’s personal collection, 200 million-year-old fossils, and the world’s largest butterfly.

Still in My Mind (Until May 15): Melbourne Museum is also hosting an exhibition delving into one of the most pivotal moments in Australian history. The Gurindji Walk-Off (also known as the Wave Hill Walk Off) saw 200 Gurindji stockmen and servants form a strike that lasted seven years at the remote Wave Hill cattle station in 1966, eventually sparking the national lands right movement.

Horridus  the  Triceratops  will be on  permanent  display  at Melbourne Museum  from March 12. Book your visit at the new website here.