Mounted Triceratops Skeleton
Hell Creek Formation, Garfield County, Montana
Though Triceratops is a familiar dinosaur in the public imagination, persistent scientific debate continues about the three-horned-face dinosaur, which was initially identified as an unusual Pliocene bison by early paleontologist Othniel Charles Marsh in 1887. The function of the three horns and the famous frill of this genus have long inspired a diversity of theories. Traditionally, they have been viewed as defensive weapons; however, with the study of blood vessels in the skull bones of ceratopsids, some find it more probable that these features were primarily used in identification, courtship and dominance displays. Only two species within the genus are currently considered valid, T. horridus and T. prorsus, though numerous species names have been suggested. Some scientists theorize that Triceratops does not belong in its own genus at all, but actually represents a juvenile stage of Torosaurus. The fact that a relatively large number of Triceratops specimens have been recovered and studied, in comparison to other dinosaur genera, seems to have generated increased inquiry, yet few answers, about this iconic dinosaur.
The present Triceratops prorsus specimen was discovered in 2012 on a private ranch in Montana when pieces of dinosaur bone were found eroding down a gully. Following these bone fragments, the discoverers eventually came upon large bones that, with careful excavation, indicated the presence of a large Ceratopsian dinosaur. Over the course of weeks, the specimen was painstakingly excavated; each specimen was covered in plaster jackets and removed from the field to the lab. The bones were then carefully removed from their field jackets and prepared using hand tools. Broken bones were professionally repaired and restored while several missing elements were cast from other Triceratops skeletons. A custom mount has been created to support the bones and the skull; innovative bracket mounts were crafted for each bone so that no bones were damaged in order to mount them. The bones were mounted in osteologically correct positions, making it comparable to, and possibly surpassing, the accuracy of older mounts in museum displays.
The completed skeleton is massive, measuring twenty-six feet long from head to tail, eight feet across and ten feet tall. The skull measures six feet in length with 24-inch-long horns. The specimen represents approximately 65% original bone.
Length measures 26 feet; Width measures 8 feet; Height measures 10 feet
A skeletal bone map is available upon request.
- Please contact the Operations Department at 212-644-9113 for special instructions regarding the collection of this lot.