Rare Torosaurus skull debuts at Tate

By: Lisa S. Icenogle
Colored drawing of a Torosaurus head with the word Torosaurus.

A rare Torosaurus skull, T. latus, will be “unveiled” at the Tate Geological Museum Thursday, Oct. 24, at 11 a.m.

“This skull is a unique Wyoming specimen, and possibly the best Torosaurus skull from our state,” said J.P. Cavigelli, museum collections specialist. According to Cavigelli, the skull was found buried in sandstone on a ranch in Natrona County in 2013.

The skull spent three years in the Tate’s prep lab before heading to Triebold Paleontology for mounting earlier this year. “It is one of only a handful of Torosaurus skulls in existence. Torosaurus is quite similar to the more well-known Triceratops, but has holes in its frill, the large shield on the back end of the skull,” said Cavigelli.

In addition to those “holes,” the skull, named Nicole, “ … has potential predator wounds on the left side of the frill, possibly from a T.rex. Her nose horn also shows signs of a healed wound,” Cavigelli noted, adding, “Almost all of Nicole is real bone with only a few reproductions to fill in any missing parts. Torosaurus fossils have been found in various areas of this region, but large, mostly complete skulls such as Nicole are rare.”

The debut of Nicole is free and open to the public, and coffee and cookies will be served. The Tate Geological Museum is located on the Casper College campus.

Media contact: Lisa S. Icenogle

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