Scientists start work on huge skull of T. rex

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SEATTLE – Visitors to Seattle’s Burke Museum will have a chance to watch as paleontologists work on a massive skull of a Tyrannosaurus rex that lived more than 66 million years ago.

A team of paleontologists today will begin removing the rock encasing the rare 4-foot-long dinosaur skull. Museum visitors will be able to watch through a large glass window and follow the progress over the next several months.

Burke scientists last year unearthed the bones in the Hell Creek Formation in Montana. The remarkable discovery included a fairly complete skull, vertebrae, ribs, hips and lower jaw bones. Scientists estimate the dinosaur is 85 percent the size of the largest T. rex discovered and lived about 15 years.

The skull was encased in a protective plaster cast, loaded onto a flatbed truck and driven to the Seattle museum last summer.

The team has spent the past year preparing the dinosaur’s lower jaw bone and ribs, which will be on display.