34. Tyrannosaurus Mounted, 1916


Having found the first Tyrannosaurus specimen in 1902, Barnum Brown and the recovered a second one for the American Museum of Natural History in 1908, in the same location, Hell Creek, Montana. Between the two the Museum had a virtually complete skeleton, wanting only the belly ribs and fore-arms. Consequently the 1908 skeleton was prepared for mounting, supplemented as necessary with casts from the 1902 specimen, and the mount was completed in 1915. In this dramatic photograph, taken by Abram Anderson, we see the power of this wonderful mount. The jaw is wide, the head is cocked, the tail is sinuously curved, and the animals strides forcefully forward.

The photograph reproduced here is actually one of three on the folding plate; the other two show Tyrannosaurus from the side and rear. Because of the brittle and glossy paper, the entire plate does not photograph well, but it can be viewed by clicking here.

One interesting feature of the photographs is that they were retouched, removing all traces of the heavy iron framework that supported the skeleton.

This mount stood in the American Museum until 1993, when it was dismantled and reassembled in order to conform with modern ideas of Tyrannosaurus posture.


Osborn, Henry Fairfield. "Skeletal adaptations of Ornitholestes, Struthiomimus, Tyrannosaurus," in: Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History, vol. 35 (1916), pp. 733-771. This work was on display in the original exhibition as item 34.

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