With 85% of her skeleton intact, the dinosaur named Sophie dominates London’s Natural History Museum’s Earth Hall.
She is the world’s most complete specimen of the recognisable dinosaur famous for the huge plates cresting its back and four spear-like horns on the end of its tail. The spectacular skeleton is 560 centimeters long and 290 centimeters tall – in life the animal would have weighed as much as a 4×4 vehicle.
There are only about six stegosaurus skeletons in the world and this new skeleton display is the best example. Professor Paul Barrett, the museum’s chief dinosaur scientist, found Sophie while attending an international fossil fair in the US. He said, “It’s an honour to have this extraordinary specimen permanently on display to inspire Natural History Museum visitors. Stegosaurus fossil finds are rare. Having the world’s most complete example here for research means we can begin to uncover the secrets behind the evolution and behaviour of this intriguing dinosaur species.”
Sophie has been informally named after the daughter of the wealthy hedge fund manager whose donation made the acquisition possible. Her fossilised bones were discovered in 2003 at Red Canyon Ranch in Wyoming, US, by palaeontologist Bob Simon. The cost of purchasing the remains are likely to be substantial and is being kept secret at the request of hedge fund manager Jeremy Herrmann who provided most of the money.
Although the sex of the animal is not known, she has been named Sophie after the daughter of the wealthy hedge fund manager whose donation made the acquisition possible. A total of 69 other private donors all contributed to the purchase. Sophie will be on public display at the museum from today.