South Dakota Mines preserves world’s 6th-ever discovered T. rex fossil

A Tyrannosaurus rex skull discovered in the early 1980s near Mud Butte, SD. This is the sixth...
A Tyrannosaurus rex skull discovered in the early 1980s near Mud Butte, SD. This is the sixth T. rex ever to be discovered in the world and has been dubbed the Mud Butte T. rex.(South Dakota School of Mines)
Published: Nov. 11, 2020 at 3:39 PM MST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

RAPID CITY, S.D. (KEVN) - A T. rex fossil that has been stored at the South Dakota School of Mines for almost 40 years is getting an update.

The 65 million-year-old Tyrannosaurus rex jawbone was found near Mud Butte in Meade County, less than 100 miles north of Rapid City.

Today South Dakota Mines students are working on making sure the large dinosaur’s jawbone is preserved for generations.

Part of that work is replacing some of the gap filler that is in between cracks in the bone of the specimen, including a papier-mache substance used and using archival glue.

The work being done at South Dakota Mines is a small field in the small world of paleontology and gives students a leg up for the future.

“For them, to have their hands-on experience working on fossils is really important, and then we also offer a class in fossil preparation that they can take with their degree, so it really gives them an edge whether they go into fossil preparation of paleontology,” Kayleigh Johnson, lab manager and preparatory said.

Johnson added that Mines is the only school in the nation that offers a Masters in Science that says paleontology. They can also do tours by reaching out ahead to the school.

The skull will remain on display in the Museum of Geology, and Johnson recommends checking it out. “This specimen is really an amazing find and needs to be more well known, not only for visitors' sake but also for those who want to research it,” Johnson says.

Copyright 2020 KEVN. All rights reserved.