Meet The Renowned Paleontologist Working on Victoria
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Learn Why Victoria Is So Special & Unique
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.