Berlin displays Europe's first T-Rex skeleton

Europe's first complete T-Rex skeleton at Berlin's Natural History Museum.

The first complete and original Tyrannosaurus Rex skeleton to be constructed in Europe has gone on public display at Berlin's Museum für Naturkunde, or Natural History Museum, where it will remain on loan for the next three years.

Until now Europe did not have its own reconstructed T-Rex skeleton, of which there are about 50 worldwide, mainly in collections in the US.

The skeleton, which is 12.5 metres long and 4.6m tall, is thought to be at least 66 million years old and was discovered in the western US state of Montana in 2010. The Berlin reconstruction is one of the world'd most complete and includes 157 out of 300 bones in the original body.

The sponsor of the exhibition, London-based Danish businessman Niels Nielsen, bought the skeleton earlier this year for a rumoured seven-digit sum and named it Tristan after his son. Nielsen claims that the skeleton's skull is the best preserved in the world, and is 98 per cent complete with a full set of teeth.

Berlin T-Rex 2

The Natural History Museum in London was Nielsen's first choice to display the T-Rex for three years, however the London museum refused the offer, reportedly over its reluctance to deal with private owners and the fact that it didn’t fit in with its exhibition programme.

Nielsen's second choice was the Museum für Naturkunde in central Berlin which accepted his offer. Its director Johannes Vogel said that the museum currently welcomes half a million visitors annually but that with the help of Tristan it hopes to double that figure.