Triceratops ‘Skull 21’ exhibition

News - 02 October 2020 - Webredactie

The restoration of a Triceratops skull is the subject of an exhibition at the Science Centre Delft from October 3. The skull – dubbed ‘Skull 21’ - formed part of the collection at the Mineralogical & Geological Museum brought together by staff of the former faculty of Mining (now Geoscience & Engineering). The skull was damaged when it was transported from Wyoming (USA) to the Netherlands in 1950 and has now been restored to its former glory.

‘Skull 21’ was excavated during the so-called ‘bone wars’ , otherwise known as The Great Dinosaur Rush, which took place in the Lance Formation in Wyoming in 1891. The arrival of the skull meant the Netherlands had bagged its first dinosaur. The damage done to the skull during transport was repaired to some extent at the time but now the Science Centre Delft, with modern means and methods, and with the financial support of the museum’s sponsors and the efforts of alumnus Duco Drenth, ‘Skull 21’ has put Humpty Dumpty (of : it) together again to a proper scientific standard.

New techniques, new data
The restoration was possible thanks to the combination of the knowledge and skill of the Naturalis Dinolab and the TU Delft’s expertise in the area of 3D printing and scanning, CT scanning and Virtual Reality. The discovery of the teeth in the jaw of Triceratops by restorers Dominique Ngan-Tillard and Ellen Meijvogel (GSE) was an unexpected bonus which yielded a wealth of additional data. The chemical composition, for instance, will have much to tell about the animal’s diet during its lifetime. Teeth are rarely found in fossils because they are rooted in soft tissue and fall out over time. Sedimentation kept the teeth in place and now that this has been removed the teeth are in full view.

Science Centre Delft

The Science Centre Delft is celebrating its 10th anniversary, not only with the new exhibition but also with a Triceratops demonstration and Triceratops workshop about ‘Skull 21’.  

There’s a cartoon as well, and a mask and colouring page for young dino fans. Visitors are welcome to meet ‘Skull 21’ from October 3.

Tickets must be booked online!

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