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Osrs King Black Dragon

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The largest Triceratops skull ever found was excavated in 2003.[1][2][3] Dubbed 'Lung Wong' or 'Dragon King', the 65-million-year-old male Triceratops skull is 9.2 feet long, 5.2 feet high and 4.6 feet wide and weighs over 600kg.

The skull is that of T. prorsus, one of only two types of Triceratopses currently considered valid. The other is T. horridus, which is theorised to have evolved into T. prorsus over a span of 1 to 2 million years.

Discovery and description[edit | edit source]

The skull was discovered in Dawson County, Montana in 1992 by Ray Novakovich, who spotted the tips of the horns partially visible in a rock formation on his property.[4] For various reasons including the skull's size it was not excavated until 2003, when the rights to excavation had been sold to amateur fossil-hunter Cliff Linster. Linster, along with his wife and two of his children, spent over a week digging the enormous skull out of the ground. Sand grains had fused around the skull to form a hard coating and the entire object weighed over three tones when it emerged, prior to cleaning.

File:150427115359-dinosaur-triceratops-pit-780x439.jpg
The Linsters digging up the skull in 2003

It was given to expert Barry James to clean, who revealed that the skull is in remarkable condition, with 95% of the original bone still intact.[5]

File:Bone Map.pdf
Bone Map of Dragon King by expert Barry James showing 95% original bone intact

Before 'Dragon King' the largest recorded Triceratops skull has an estimated length of 8.2 feet (2.5m), according to Scandella's 2010 Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology study, making this example a whole foot longer.[6]

Triceratops had one of the largest heads of all land animals, relatively large in comparison to its body size. Some skulls comprised up to a third of the dinosaurs' whole body. From this we can guess that this specimen could have measured around 28 feet in length and weighed anywhere between 6 to 12 tones.

The skull was found in the famous Hell Creek Formation, an intensively studied division of mostly Upper Cretaceous and some lower Paleocene rocks in North America, named for exposures studied along Hell Creek, near Jordan, Montana. The formation stretches over portions of Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wyoming. Triceratops has been found all across the fossil-rich Hell Creek Formation, where rock layers recorded the final millennia of the dinosaurs' reign, and the site has yielded many other notable finds.

Dragon King is understood to be the most expensive skull to ever trade privately.

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Yan, Sophia (April 23, 2015). "How a $1.8 million dinosaur skull went from Montana to Hong Kong". CNNMoney.
  2. "World's Largest Most Complete Dinosaur Skull for Sale In Hong Kong, Valued at USD1.8m - PR Newswire APAC". en.prnasia.com.
  3. "The Ultimate Bling Item for China's Rich: the World's Largest Dinosaur Skull". Jing Daily. May 14, 2015.
  4. "Yours for US$1.8m or more: 'world's biggest dinosaur' skull on sale in Hong Kong". South China Morning Post. April 25, 2015.
  5. Flora, Liz. "You can buy the world's largest dinosaur skull for $1.8 million". Business Insider.
  6. Scannella, John B.; Horner, John R. (July 14, 2010). "Torosaurus Marsh, 1891, is Triceratops Marsh, 1889 (Ceratopsidae: Chasmosaurinae): synonymy through ontogeny". Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology. 30 (4): 1157–1168. doi:10.1080/02724634.2010.483632 – via Taylor and Francis+NEJM.