Meet Trix: one of the three most complete Tyrannosaurus rex skeletons in the world. The 66-million-year-old fossil is the centrepiece of the “T.rex in Town” exhibit currently on display at Kelvin Hall, Glasgow – the only UK stop on Trix’s European tour.

Best believe I was dressed for the occasion!

Trix was excavated in 2013 in Montana, USA by a team of Dutch paleontologists, with a pattern of geomagnetic reversal showing it had an age of at least 66.4 million years.

She’s not as complete as leading competitor Sue (the best-preserved Tyrannosaurus currently known), but she did live longer; making it to at least 30 years vs Sue’s 28. This makes Trix the oldest Tyrannosaurus known along with her Canadian cousin, Scotty.

Trix’s excellent preservation owes in large part to her skeleton being surrounded by a three metres thick sandstone lens with a high chalk content, neutralising damaging acids.

Her jaw shows evidence of damage and remodelling: likely owing to a fight with another dinosaur!

I’ve seen impressive casts of fossils before but there are few things that fill me with childlike wonder quite like standing in front of an actual T.rex and knowing that this was a real creature that lived and breathed and walked the earth at a time so far distant that it’s practically inconceivable to imagine.

If you never went through a Jurassic Park phase as a kid, I don’t know what to tell you.

There are several interactive exhibits besides Trix herself, including this game where you have to see if you could out-pedal a T.rex. John is, apparently, much calmer in a crisis. (I did manage, but my legs were in agony for a solid week after. 😂)

Life, uhhh, uh, uh, uhhh, uh, uh, uh, uhh, uh, uh…finds a way.

John actually spotted some osteoarthritis in Trix’s tailbones, further evidencing that she was a grand old lady.

Since we were already out seeing Trix, it seemed rude not to drop in on Dippy – the Natural History Museum’s iconic Diplodocus cast, who was quite literally across the road at the Kelvingrove Art Gallery & Museum.

It wouldn’t be a trip to Glasgow without some excitement, and indeed, some 300 Green campaigners staged a mass ‘die-in’ beneath Dippy one day in protest of climate change. At least the dinosaurs had the excuse of an extinction-level event that wasn’t brought about by their own rampant stupidity.

Technically a reunion, though I hadn’t seen her since a visit to London eight years prior.

…aaand since we were in the area, a trip to Iolla to round off the day.

Not coincidentally, the same visit where I picked up my new glasses.

Trix is on display from the 18 April – 31 July, 2019, so you still have until the end of this month to come face to face with an actual T.rex!

Mark Liddell 2019 | Facebook | Flickr | Instagram | Website

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