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Rare cast of famed dinosaur “Tinker” on display beginning Sept. 1 At Hanover College

Posted On July 15, 2017

The skeletal structure of the famed dinosaur “Tinker the Tyrannosaurus” will be on public display in the Hanover College Science Center beginning Sept. 1.

The original fossilized remnants, more than 70 percent intact, are believed to represent the first nearly complete skeleton of a juvenile Tyrannosaurus rex. The College’s cast is just the second made for museums and the first on permanent display in the U.S.

Despite being an adolescent – just two-thirds the size and one-fourth the weight of an adult – Hanover’s casting shows the creature’s enormous size. The College’s  display measures nearly 10-feet high, more than four-feet wide and 30.5 feet in length. The youth’s skeleton, featuring more than 300 pieces, also possesses the same number of teeth as an adult inside a skull nearly three-feet wide.

“Tinker is one of the most scientifically significant and most exciting T. rex skeletons ever found,” said paleontologist Bob Bakker, who helped reshape modern theories about dinosaurs. “[Tinker] is one of the most important dinosaur specimens from any age and any locale.”

Discovered in South Dakota in 1997, Tinker’s remains are more than 66 million years old. The female’s bones were discovered intermingled with those of her mother, Regina, and another juvenile T. rex. The discovery also included the remains of a devoured Hadrosaurus and teeth from a Nanotyrannus.

After Tinker’s excavation, the bones traveled to several places, including Texas, Iowa and Pennsylvania. The original skeleton was not displayed for years while toiling in litigation involving the discoverers, bankruptcy proceedings and the lease for excavation. Eventually sold to a German collector, the remains were loaned to the Etihad Modern Art Gallery in Abu Dhabi for a 2014 temporary display – its first as a fully mounted skeleton.

Group tours will be available. Contact Deborah Quinn at quinn@hanover.edu or (812) 866-7245 for more information or to schedule a tour.

The addition of the rare cast of Tinker’s remains to the Hanover Science Center’s collection was made possible through private gifts to the College’s museum fund.

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