Photo of a T. rex dinosaur skeleton. Theropod dinosaur (vertebra cast) Tyrannosaurus rex Lived 68-66 million years ago Hell Creek Formation, McCone Co., Montana USNM 555000 Courtesy U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Omaha District and The Museum of the Rockies, Montana State University and Ceratopsian dinosaur (composite cast) Triceratops horridus Lived 68-66 million years ago Lance Formation, Niobrara Co., Wyoming USNM 2100, USNM 4842, and others Full view of Tyrannosaurus rex and Triceratops horridus skeletons. In 1988, rancher Kathy Wankel discovered this Tyrannosaurus specimen while hiking on land managed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. After a little digging with a garden shovel and a jackknife, she unearthed the first complete T. rex arm ever found. Dr. Jack Horner of the Museum of the Rockies led the mission to excavate the rest. This specimen was loaned to the Smithsonian in 2014 for 50 years, where it is to be displayed with the composite cast of a Triceratops horridus, assembled from the remains of several individual specimens. Composite panoramic of negative numbers NHB2017-00014, NHB2017-00015, NHB2017-00016, NHB2017-00017, NHB2017-00018, NHB2017-00019, and NHB2017-00020.

A groundbreaking study led by UW-Stout materials scientist Elizabeth Boatman explains how, after 66 million years, blood vessels are preserved in the fossil of a T.rex dinosaur displayed at the Smithsonian. Microscopic research on a leg bone sample conducted by five institutions across the U.S. proves that fossils can help unlock secrets to how the dinosaurs lived.

Read more about the evolution of this research and learn whether Jurassic Park–style dinosaur clones will walk the Earth any time soon!

Photo of lead author of the study, UW-Stout materials scientist Elizabeth Boatman

Elizabeth Boatman, study’s lead author and materials scientist at UW-Stout