Oh my! It's HORRID!
Normally when we hear someone say this, it's a cue that we should prepare for something truly scary and awful. But, when someone says:
Oh my! It's Horridus!
... then you know that you're about to see something awesome!
Because that is the name of one of the coolest dinosaurs ever. Triceratops!
The Triceratops horridus is the most well-known ceratopsian (horned dinosaur) species. With their impressive horns, magnificent neck frill, and muscular, stocky body, these prehistoric giants have long been a favourite of experts and kids alike. And now, one of the most complete skeletons of a Triceratops ever found is going on display to the public for the first time.
And it's travelled Down Under to Australia!
Melbourne Museum, meet Horridus!
Horridus, as this 67-million-year-old skeleton is being named, was discovered on a private farm in Montana in the United States in 2014. The skeleton was eventually purchased in 2020 by the Melbourne Museum. This is located in the city of Melbourne, Victoria, one of Australia's biggest cities.
Horridus is a part of the museum's permanent collection, which makes it the owner of a very rare specimen indeed. (For a primer on why complete fossils are so rare, watch this OWLconnected General KnOWLedge video on fossils.) This skeleton is about 85 per cent complete—the head is 98 per cent complete, which is absolutely stunning!
The fossil, which was shipped around the world in eight car-sized crates(!), is the centrepiece of a brand new exhibit called Triceratops: Fate Of The Dinosaurs. Though it might be a bit tricky to get to Australia to see it, the Melbourne Museum has set up this super cool webpage where you can interact with the skeleton virtually as a 3D model. Enjoy!
Also, watch Melbourne Museum staff assemble Horridus and talk about how rare it is in the video below.
P.S. 'Horridus' doesn't mean scary or awful. Or great. It's Latin for 'rough'!