The Lead Scientist

Meet The Renowned Paleontologist Working on Victoria

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The Building of Victoria

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Victoria was found on private land near Faith, South Dakota, an area famed for its dinosaur fossils. In fact, Sue the T. rex was found mere miles from Victoria’s excavation site.

It can be discerned from the size of the 199 bones found that Victoria is one of the largest T. rex fossils ever discovered. She is just a few inches shorter than the largest T. rex’s on record (Sue and Stan) in skull length.

Victoria’s skeleton features 199 bones, which have been studied by three of the world’s top paleontological experts specializing in osteology, pathologies and biomechanics. Her completeness, bone quality and pathologies have provided experts with a wealth of insights into the T. rex that will be studied for years to come

Victoria has several unique and groundbreaking pathologies that tell the story of her life and death:

  • A severe bite on the lower jaw, inflicted by a rival T. rex, which led to a massive mouth infection that spread to both jaws.
  • A small infection on the left dentary, showing scarring.
  • Severe neck trauma; either a broken neck or severe strain, which caused various vertebrae to fuse together while healing.
  • An absorbed tooth in the maxilla (previously seen in only one other theropod).
  • Two teeth growing out of the same alveolus (never seen before).

It’s hard to say exactly how Victoria died. However, it is estimated that she lived to be a sub-adult between the ages of 18-25. Her bones show numerous pathologies, including a severe jaw infection and a broken neck, either of which might have played a role in her early death. The most likely candidate is the massive infection that spread across both jaws; such infections often lead to sepsis, and thus death.

Victoria’s completeness and unique pathologies amount to an overwhelming body of new knowledge of the T. rex. She builds upon and changes our understanding of the T. rex in ways we haven’t seen before, allowing us to build upon and combine information to create a more holistic painting of these dinosaurs.

Victoria is currently the subject of multiple, yet-to-be-released scientific papers by some of the world’s most renowned paleontologists.

Lead Scientist

“The discovery of Victoria has provided the paleontological community with a tremendous amount of new information. The various insights gleaned from her unique and groundbreaking pathologies will be the subject of research for years to come. From a bite on her jaw that led to an unusually widespread infection to an absorbed tooth in the maxilla, it is clear she overcame many rivalries and injuries in the struggle to survive as an apex predator.” – Heinrich Mallison
Heinrich-Mallison-instructor-for-Transmitting-Science

Heinrich Mallison

Paleontologist

Heinrich Mallison is a researcher associated with the Center of Natural History, Hamburg University and the founder of Palaeo3D, a “virtual paleontology” company working closely with research institutions worldwide.  Heinrich holds a Doctorate in Vertebrate Paleontology and is an expert in 3D scanning of dinosaur fossils, as well as the 3D reconstruction of dinosaur skeletons.

Heinrich has brought the latest 3D technology to the lab and scanned all of Victoria’s bones, creating the first-ever 3D T. rex model of its kind. Heinrich will be leading the charge in bringing Victoria to life by co-creating an augmented reality app using his scans. Layer, by prehistoric layer, the world will get a first-hand look at the complete anatomy, inside and out, of one of the world’s largest dinosaurs.