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Dinosaurs! Age of the giant lizards – from 23 August 2022

Dinosaurier! Zeitalter der Riesenechsen

Good news for all T.rex fans: Tristan Otto will be back as of 23 August 2022. And he has brought some friends with him! Together, they can be seen for the first time in Berlin in the new special exhibition "DINOSAURS!".

Dinosaurs are an incredibly successful group of animals. They populated our planet for more than 150 million years. Their reign spanned three geological eras: Triassic, Jurassic and Cretaceous. It ended suddenly 66 million years ago in a mass extinction. What does this story have to do with us? Find out and be amazed by spectacular fossils from three ages of the dinosaur era.

What happened so far

In December 2015 Tristan Otto came to Europe and to the Museum für Naturkunde in Berlin as the first original T. rex skeleton. Since then, the superstar among the dinosaurs has impressed around three million visitors from Berlin and the world about research and nature. Nevertheless, at the beginning of 2020, it was time for the Berliners to say goodbye – at least temporarily. As part of a cooperation, Tristan Otto was on display at the Natural History Museum in Copenhagen. He was the star in the special exhibition "King of Dinosaurs" that started in June 2020 and ended in December 2021. 

About Tristan Otto

Tristan Otto was the first original skeleton of a Tyrannosaurus rex in Europe when he arrived in Berlin and is still one of a few original skeletons outside of North America, where all previous T. rex finds come from. The twelve meters long and four meter high skeleton of the predatory dinosaur from the Upper Cretaceous period is 65 million years old. Its night-black colouration is characteristic of fossils from the so-called Hell Creek Formation, a fossil-rich rock layer in the US state of Montana, where Tristan was found in 2010.

The recovery and conservation of the bones took a total of four years. Not least because of the almost completely preserved skull, Tristan Otto is one of the best-preserved Tyrannosaurus rex specimens worldwide.

In 2014 the entrepreneurs and collectors Niels Nielsen and Jens Peter Jensen acquired the skeleton and named it after their sons Tristan and Otto. From the beginning, they intended to make the skeleton accessible for research and the public and decided to give it to the Museum für Naturkunde Berlin. Here, the T. rex bears the inventory number MB.R.91216, which makes it identifiable for science.

Highlights from four years of Tristan in Berlin

About three Million visitors have seen Tristan between 2015 and 2020. The 500,000th visitor travelled to Berlin especially to see Tristan Otto. But Tristan Otto not only fascinated visitors within the exhibition - he also inspired beyond. Since the arrival of the original skull in July 2015, various projects have been developed around the popular T. rex.

The good condition of the skull bones, for example, made it possible to create a 3D model of the skull using the most modern methods such as high-resolution CT scans and image measurement techniques. 

Tristan also went on a European tour together with visitBerlin. As a part of the "Pop into Berlin“ tour a replica of the original skull was on display in Warsaw, Madrid and Zurich. Next to pop-up stores with trendy Berlin products Tristan promoted the German capital city as a travel destination.

Tristan also fascinated virtually – as the example of the computer fair CeBIT from 2016 shows. The company shoutr labs developed a system that uses Wi-Fi access points with local memories to transfer multimedia content to mobile devices without an Internet connection. This gave visitors the opportunity to watch Tristan sneaking across the exhibition grounds.