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The dinosaur exhibition started in April 2022, when an extremely rare Tyrannosaurus rex named Peter arrived at Auckland Museum. The fossil was discovered in Wyoming in the US in 2018, and Auckland Museum hosted its world debut.
T. rex fossils are incredibly rare, with only about 20 on display in museums worldwide. While most dinosaur skeletons are brown, mineral deposits on Peter’s bones create a rare obsidian black colour. Only four black T. rex have been discovered to date; with the other three displayed in natural history museums around the world.
Barbara's skeleton came later, joining Peter in November 2022. Believed to be one of only three pregnant female T.rex fossils ever found, Barbara was discovered in the Hell Creek Formation in north-eastern Montana.
Both free and ticketed events were organised to honour the dinosaur pair, including themed birthday parties for children, as well as augmented-reality scavenger hunts through the Museum.
Over 1.5 million visitors came to the Museum to see Peter and Barbara before they left Auckland Museum in December 2023.
Dig deeper, and uncover more of Auckland Museum's at Home palaeontology content.