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Smithsonian, National Museum of Natural History


Front view of new posture of Triceratops


In May, 2001, the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History will unveil a new mount of Triceratops. This new skeleton is a product of traditional bone replication by molding and casting, and three-dimensional laser scanning and prototyping that fixes many inaccuracies in the original mount. The posture of this skeleton is also new, arrived at by prototyping an accurate and handleable miniature of the skeleton that scientists analyzed bone by bone. Triceratops is the first digital dinosaur, existing accurately in the computer, and able to be shared with researchers as easily as e-mail. This new approach and new Triceratops will tell us many more things about how this three-horned dinosaur lived and moved over 65 million years ago.

Triceratops horridus
70 - 65 million years old, Late Cretaceous Period
Niobrara County, Wyoming
Specimen number: USNM 500000
Original collected by John Bell Hatcher, 1891;
mounted in 1905; remounted 2001
Triceratops means "three-horned face" in Greek

Hatcher logo

What's in a Name?

The Smithsonian's Triceratops is now named Hatcher, in honor of John Bell Hatcher, the collector who found our fossil in 1891.

Why do we name fossils? A personal name acknowledges that dinosaurs, like people, are individuals.

Jarek Buss, ten years old, from Laramie, Wyoming, wrote the winning essay that named Hatcher.

Walk sequence of the virtual Triceratops
A walk cycle of the virtual Triceratops

May-2001 - NMNH Webmaster