Fossil imaging shows first look inside dinosaur skull found in New Mexico


ALBUQUERQUE, NM (KRQE) – Scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and the New Mexico Museum of Natural History are offering a never-before-seen view inside a dinosaur found in New Mexico.

The skull is of the so-called “Bisti Beast,” the first of its kind to be discovered, and located near Farmington in the 1990s.

“We have the only adult complete skull of this dinosaur and so we are very proud of this specimen,” Curator of Paleontology, Tom Williamson, said.

He was one of the people to locate and name the dinosaur.

Researchers using LANL’s neuron imaging revealed Tuesday what’s inside the fossil.

He said the goal is to find out the dinosaur’s role 75 million years ago by being able to look at the internal anatomy of the skull, never before seen.

Scientists hope to further learn how the Bisti Beast transformed from a smaller, meat-eating dinosaur into its much bigger, bone-crushing relative, the T-Rex.

Laboratory scientist Sven Vogel said the neuron machine can see further inside the fossil than a standard X-ray machine and it’s able to do that without having to break open the delicate fossil.

The discoveries about this fossil and this whole process of examining it are drawing attention from around the globe.

“Having this new information is going to enable scientists for generations to look at this skull very, very easily through online access,” Kat Schroeder, a University of New Mexico student, said. “We don’t have to ship a very fragile, hollow-type skull.”

This is the highest resolution scan of a tyrannosaur skull ever done.

Williamson added the neuron scan technology is only available in about 10 locations around the world.

The Los Alamos National Laboratory will present the scan findings and get feedback at an international meeting for paleontologists within the next two weeks, but scientists said it will likely take years for them to find out more about this fossil.

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