Bye, bye Tristan Otto! The king of the dinosaurs is leaving Berlin
For four years the Tyrannosaurus rex, on loan from two patrons, was the star of Berlin's Natural History Museum. At the end of January 2020, Tristan Otto will move to Copenhagen to the Natural History Museum there.
A temporary farewell
Before leaving for Copenhagen, Berlin fans can once again celebrate the T. rex during a farewell weekend. But it is only a temporary farewell: Tristan Otto is scheduled to return to the German capital in 2021. Worldwide there are about 50 reconstructed specimens of Tyrannosaurus rex, mainly in the USA. Tristan Otto is the only original skeleton of a T. rex in Europe.
The patrons behind the bones
After his career as a successful investment banker, Danish Niels Nielsen remembered his childhood passion for dinosaurs. He then acted quickly: When he got the opportunity to acquire one of the best-preserved skeletons of a T. rex, he and a friend struck fast. The specimen is named after the two sons of the owners: Tristan Otto.
Express delivery from the USA
The two patrons decided that the skeleton should be publicly displayed and researched. The remains from the US state of Montana were prepared for transport in Pennsylvania. The T. rex was then shipped crate by crate across the Atlantic to Berlin. The team at Berlin's Museum of Natural History had just over a month in 2015 to construct a presentable skeleton from the parts they had received.
A heavy head
Tristan Otto's skull is presented in a separate showcase because the head is much too heavy for the 12-meter (39 ft.) long skeleton, . A 3D printer provided the lighter copy. The 1.5-meter-long head is 98% preserved and is considered the most complete skull of a T. rex known to date.
A pop star among the dinosaurs
Although extinct for about 65 million years, the Tyrannosaurus rex is an established species in popular culture. Not least since its portrayal as a deadly predator in Steven Spielberg's movie "Jurassic Park." However, that image no longer matches current research. Scientists suspect that the T. rex was less a predator and more a scavenger.
The fascination with dinosaurs
For four years now, Tristan Otto has kept the permanent fellow dinosaur remains in the Berlin Natural History Museum company. For example the Brachiosaurus Brancai, which is one of the largest dinosaurs. Since the T. rex was introduced in Berlin, three million visitors have come to the museum. Significantly more than before.
Part of the family
As a result, the other dinosaurs in the Natural History Museum Berlin — like this dysalotosaurus — have also received a lot of new visitors. The dinosaur, which could be up to 5 meters long, was probably not picky about food. Its teeth identify it as an omnivore.
Berlin has a long tradition in the search for dinosaurs. At the beginning of the 20th century, the Museum of Natural History commissioned an expedition to Tendaguru Hill in present-day Tanzania. After the world's most successful dinosaur excavation 250 tons of bones were sent to Berlin. Many of the fossils are still stored in the museum basement and continue to be scientifically analyzed.
The emergence of biodiversity
The Museum for Natural History Berlin, which opened in 1889, is the largest natural history research museum in Germany. One focus of the exhibitions is the theme "Evolution in Action". Besides dinosaur skeletons, the tiniest evidence of living creatures, from insects to fish, can be found here.