UT unveils dinosaur skeleton statue

UT unveils dinosaur skeleton statue

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A 2,400-pound, 24-foot-long bronze skeleton of an Edmontosaurus annectens, a hadrosaur or duck-billed dinosaur, was installed outside the museum's front entrance. A 2,400-pound, 24-foot-long bronze skeleton of an Edmontosaurus annectens, a hadrosaur or duck-billed dinosaur, was installed outside the museum's front entrance.

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - The University of Tennessee's McClung Museum of Natural History and Culture unveiled a life-sized dinosaur skeleton Friday that it calls the "oldest and newest Volunteer."

A 2,400-pound, 24-foot-long bronze skeleton of an Edmontosaurus annectens, a hadrosaur or duck-billed dinosaur, was installed outside the museum's front entrance as part of a 50th anniversary celebration.

University officails say the same type of dinosaurs once roamed the coastal plains of Tennessee. The museum also houses actual hadrosaur bones, the only non-avian dinosaur bones ever found in the state.

The actual fossilized dinosaur that the McClung Museum's bronze cast is based upon was discovered in South Dakota in 1995 by paleontologists. That Edmontosaurus probably died of wounds sustained after being attacked and bitten on the throat, possibly by a Tyrannosaurus rex.

The museum also will host a contest on its website to help name the dino. The public is encouraged to submit dinosaur names by Nov. 8 online.

Several names will be chosen and then the public will be invited to vote on the final name for the dinosaur. Additionally, museum visitors and the UT community are encouraged to take photos with the dinosaur and share them on social media with the hashtag #mcclungdino.

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