Tyrannosaurus rex is the superstar among dinosaurs. Between 1902 and today, around 50 specimens have been discovered in North America, none of them complete. The Museum für Naturkunde now exhibits one of the best-preserved skeletons worldwide. Of approximately 300 bones, 170 have been preserved, which puts it in third position.
Tristan Otto – the sons of the two owners lent their names to T. rex – will be available to the Museum für Naturkunde free of charge for the coming years for research and exhibition purposes. It originates from the Hell Creek Formation in Montana and was discovered in 2010. Its recovery and preservation took four years.
Since January 2015, the Museum has been working intensely on the exhibition and research programs focusing on the future crowd-puller that will be accessible to all visitors from 17/12/2015. At the same time, research on Tristan Otto will be ongoing, using cutting-edge technologies. Over the coming years, research results will be gradually fed into the exhibition.
The work on exhibition and research concept gave rise to a companion book that is available in the museum's shop.
Please note: In the dinosaur exhibitions realistic animated films with hunting scenes among dinosaurs are screened, which might terrify children.
Tristan Otto is the only original skeleton of a T. rex in Europe to date. The twelve-metre-long and four-metre-high deep black skeleton of the predatory dinosaur from the Upper Cretaceous period was found in the Hell Creek Formation in Montana, USA, in 2010 and is privately owned. It is among the best-preserved Tyrannosaurus rex specimens worldwide and is being studied by a team of scientists at the Museum für Naturkunde Berlin.
The exhibition “Tristan – Berlin bares teeth” takes visitors on an exciting expedition around Tyrannosaurus rex. Tristan Otto, the only original skeleton of a T. rex on display in Europe to date, is the heart and soul of the show. The predatory dinosaur is twelve metres long. Extraordinary media stations and original exhibits tell riveting stories relating to the discovery of - and research on - the illustrious predatory dinosaur from the Upper Cretaceous period. Try the Tristan-App to extend your experience.
What questions are scientists trying to answer? What new insights are they hoping for from fossilised bones that are more than 65 million years old? What do the bones tell us about Tristan’s life? The exhibition is an exceptional experiment. The results of the research programme will contribute to the exhibition in years to come and will let visitors take along in this journey. Be part of it.
Up to now, approximately 50 Tyrannosaurus rex specimens have been discovered. Each newly discovered specimen is of interest for scientists, as it carries its own individual marks and provides further information, thus widening our knowledge of T. rex and an ecosystem that has long disappeared.
The research programme about Tristan Otto focuses on five aspects:
- Anatomy - The detailed study and description of the original bones
- Palaeopathology - The study of injuries and signs of disease
- Functional morphology - The clarification of questions arising in the context of locomotion and motor skills
- Palaeoecology - The reconstruction of the ecosystem in which Tristan lived
- Taphonomy - The scientific evaluation of information relating to the embedding of the fossil
The whole project " Tristan - Berlin bares teeth" was exclusively accompanied by a film crew of the Berlin TV station rbb. The result is an intoxicating film that is now also available in an English version.