Children in North Dakota found a rare juvenile T. rex fossil and it will be displayed in the Denver museum

Rock Paper Shotgun

A rare juvenile Tyrannosaurus rex fossil found by three children during a family hike in the North Dakota Badlands nearly two years ago will soon be on display at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science, the museum said Tuesday.
Unsure of what his family had just stumbled upon, Sam reached out to an old high school friend, paleontologist Tyler Lyson, for help.
However, when he uncovered the most diagnostic part of the fossil, the teeth, he said he knew the “trio of young fossil hunters” had found something really special.
Juvenile T. rex fossils are not an everyday find.
This one, dubbed by the museum as the “Teen Rex,” is one of just four young T. rex fossils that have been found on Earth, Lyson said.
Lyson said it would have weighed about half as much as some of the most famous T. rex specimens.
It’s just an amazing, heartwarming story, where you have three kids out looking for fossils in the Badlands of North Dakota, and discovering the king of all, Tyrannosaurus rex,” Lyson said in his museum video.
The fossil will be on display starting June 21 in a temporary museum exhibit called “Discovering Teen Rex.”


The Denver Museum of Nature and Science announced on Tuesday that a rare juvenile Tyrannosaurus rex fossil discovered by three kids almost two years ago while on a family hike in the North Dakota Badlands will soon be on display.

Brothers Jessin and Liam Fisher, their father Sam Fisher, and their cousin Kaiden Madsen made the improbable discovery in July 2022. Sam asked paleontologist Tyler Lyson, an old high school friend, for assistance since he didn’t know what his family had just discovered.

The fossil was excavated in North Dakota in 2023 by Lyson, the museum’s paleontology curator, along with a team and the kids, following approval from the Bureau of Land Management, which oversees the land where the find was made.

Lyson stated in a video interview that the museum released that he had assumed the dinosaur might be something more commonplace when he started the project. But he claimed he knew the “trio of young fossil hunters” had discovered something truly unique when they uncovered the fossil’s teeth, which are the most diagnostic feature.

“The excitement was incredible when we told everyone; it was truly a remarkable moment,” Lyson remarked. “You know, you don’t find these kinds of incredible dinosaurs every day. “.”.

Child T. Findings of T. Rex fossils are rare. There are only four young T. rex, and the museum refers to this one as the “Teen Rex.”. fossilized T. rex that have been discovered on Earth, according to Lyson.

“In a national park, you see moose, elk, and deer, but not wolves or mountain lions,” Lyson said. Because they are simply fewer in number, you don’t see those apex predators. Consequently, to locate a T. find one this complete, it’s really exceptional. rex at all. “.

Lyson stated that the dinosaur is thought to have been between 12 and 14 years old, despite the fact that the histology is still incomplete. It would have weighed roughly half as much as some of the most well-known T. specimens of T. Rex.

A seasoned vertebrate paleontologist encouraged Jessin, an aspiring paleontologist, who told the museum he’s pretty happy with his find and hopes it leads him down a path like Lyson.

“The significance of this lies in the discovery narrative. “In his museum video, Lyson narrated the incredible and touching tale of three kids searching for fossils in North Dakota’s Badlands and finding the ultimate dinosaur—the Tyrannosaurus Rex.”.

Beginning on June 21, the fossil will be on display at the “Discovering Teen Rex” temporary museum exhibit. The Infinity Theater at the museum will also screen a documentary that tells the tale of the boys’ discovery.

scroll to top