A world first: Female T. rex joins Peter the T. rex at Tāmaki Paenga Hira Auckland Museum making it the only place in the world to ever exhibit adult male and female T. rex together.
Tāmaki Paenga Hira Auckland War Memorial Museum is thrilled to announce a second fossil Tyrannosaurus rex skeleton, will be on display alongside Peter the T. rex from Friday 2 December 2022.
The skeleton named ‘Barbara’, is one of only three pregnant, female T. rex ever discovered. Pathologic study by leading palaeontologists shows the specimen was an adult female that was almost certainly gravid (carrying eggs or young).
This will be the first time ever, in any place around the world, that adult male and female T. rex have been displayed together.
“This is an incredible coup for Auckland Museum and all New Zealanders, to have a unique opportunity to see a male and female T. rex in the same space, at the same time. This dramatic display will be the envy of every museum around the world”, says Dr David Gaimster, Chief Executive of Auckland Museum.
Key facts relating to the discovery of this T. rex have been established by Dr David Burnham, Dr Bruce Rothschild and Dr John Nudds in a scientific report.
Never before has this rare, pregnant female T. rex specimen been seen by the public. A significant number of the largest bones are pristine, including her head and jaws. Barbara is the eighth most complete T. rex ever discovered (44.7% complete) and an impressive 11.7 metres long and 3.4m high.
Scientific investigation reveals that Barbara suffered a severe foot injury. Visitors to the Museum will be able to see a healed metatarsal bone, which would have been probably the worst injury a massive animal like her could have suffered. The trauma to her foot would have limited Barbara’s movement and palaeontologists have been able to reveal some incredible insights as a result of her discovery. Without the ability to hunt prey, it was likely that Barbara either scavenged food or was fed by other members of her T. rex pack. The fact that Barbara’s injury had healed indicates that she lived for a long period after this traumatic event, but most likely she would have had a pronounced limp. She was fortunate enough to recover to the point where she could successfully mate.
Barbara was discovered by Nate Cooper, Clayton and Luke Phipps, Chris Morrow and Katie Busch in the Hell Creek Formation in north-eastern Montana, buried in 66 million year old sediment. The excavation of Barbara started with large earth movers, then moved to shovels, trowels, knives and eventually the painstakingly delicate work of paintbrushes, to uncover the fossilised T. rex.
Over the period that both T. rex are at Auckland Museum, a series of exciting public programmes, both ticketed and free of charge, will delight and inform visitors. Events will include dinosaur-themed birthday parties and a free Augmented Reality dinosaur hunt throughout the Museum.
Dr David Gaimster, Chief Executive at Auckland Museum, says “This is a unique and exciting offering, making Auckland Museum a must-visit destination this summer. We are proud to bring compelling cultural experiences and learning opportunities to Aucklanders. Starting with the T. rex Barbara and Peter from the Cretaceous era through to the Secrets of Stonehenge, which explores the European neolithic and early metal ages, we will span a vast expanse of time, natural history and culture this summer.”
Visit Barbara and Peter at Auckland Museum for a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to come face to face with two real T. rex – together for the first time in 66 million years.
Free with Museum entry, Barbara the T. rex joins Peter the T. rex at Auckland Museum from Friday 2 December 2022, for a limited time.