The Auckland Museum has announced its newest resident for the coming year, a partner for an existing star attraction.
Peter the T-rex has brought thousands to the Auckland War Memorial Museum, to see one of the most intact Tyrannosaurus Rex fossils in the world.
This summer, Peter isn’t alone, with the introduction of a second T-rex fossil for the museum.
Barbara, a female T-rex will be joining Peter from 2 December, and is one of only three pregnant T-rex fossils ever found.
This will be the first time ever, in any place around the world, that adult male and female T-rex have been displayed together.
Barbara was discovered in the cretaceous geological beds of Montana in the United States by Nate Cooper, Clayton and Luke Phipps, Chris Morrow and Katie Busch.
She had been buried in 66 million-year-old sediment that took large earth movers, shovels, trowels, knives and eventually the painstakingly delicate work of paintbrushes, to uncover.
Auckland Museum chief executive Dr David Gaimster described the attraction as a must see.
“There’s a lot to take away from the display in terms of the behavioural histories of these remarkable animals that were at the very top of the predator chain for millions of year,” he explained.
Dr Gaimster said Peter had been a huge success for the museum and he hoped Barbara would be just as popular.
“That’s a unique combination, firstly the two animals together, and for Barbara, this is her first ever display,” he said.
There was a real appetite for prehistoric fossils in New Zealand, Dr Gaimster said. He hoped to be able to display more in the future.
Barbara is currently being assembled for display in the South Atrium of the museum, and will be there for the public to see until the end of next year.