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A 67 Million-Year-Old T-Rex Skeleton Is Coming to Auckland in an Incredibly Rare New Exhibition

It's the first time this ultra-rare, visually stunning T-Rex fossil has ever been on display in Aotearoa — or the world.
By Sarah Templeton
April 04, 2022
By Sarah Templeton
April 04, 2022

Get ready to live all your greatest Land Before Time fantasies — Auckland is getting a 67 million-year-old, 12-metre long resident this month.

On Friday, April 15, Tāmaki Paenga Hira Auckland War Memorial Museum will become home to Peter the T-Rex, one of the only almost entirely complete fossilised Tyrannosaurus Rex skeletons in the world.

Free for all visitors and the first time ever Peter has been on display, you'll be able to get up and close and personal with the giant predator — potioned in a cute and also terrifying hunting position, no less — and find out how he lived and died. Spoiler alert: it was most likely about 67 million years ago in Wyoming, US, when his legs were chewed off by another T-Rex.

You're definitely not going to want to miss this exhibition, which is set to be a once-in-a-lifetime kind of thing. It's the first time a T-Rex fossil has ever been exhibited in Aotearoa, and to make things even more exciting, Peter is one of the extra-rare obsidian black fossils — most others are brown.

Auckland War Memorial Museum - Tāmaki Paenga Hira.

According to Dr John Nudds from the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences at the University of Manchester, this makes the new addition to Auckland museum "incredibly rare and visually stunning".

"Only four black T-Rex have ever been discovered; the other three are displayed in prestigious natural history museums around the world," he said in a statement from the museum.

The installation is free to attend and while the T-Rex is making Tāmaki Makaurau its home, a series of exciting, educational events are also set to take place, including an immersive dinosaur performance featuring an array of prehistoric creatures, a junior palaeontology programme, and of course, dinosaur-themed birthday parties. We think that last one might be aimed at kids, but if you're looking for a crowd-pleasing 21st theme, we're absolutely not here to judge.

Once you finish viewing Peter, stop by the museum's TuiTui bar and cafe, and dine Jurassic-style on a big plate of ribs, along with a T-Rex themed platter for the little ones. See what they've done there?

Auckland War Memorial Museum - Tāmaki Paenga Hira

Free with museum entry, Peter the T-Rex will be on display at Tāmaki Paenga Hira Auckland War Memorial Museum from Friday, April 15, 2022 until Sunday, September 4 2022.

Published on April 04, 2022 by Sarah Templeton
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