Principal Investigators
Jaelyn Eberle and William Taylor

Collaboration + support
3D Printing Colorado; CU Museum of Natural History; Smithsonian Institution

For more than 40 years, visitors have flocked to the CU Museum of Natural History to catch a glimpse of one big dinosaur specimen: the fossil skull of an ancient Triceratops that’s nearly the size of a Mini Cooper. Now, in the midst of a pandemic, dino-lovers can check out that same three-horned skull, which is on loan from the Smithsonian Institution, from the comfort of their own homes—and in 3D.

The 3D scan is part of the museum’s efforts to digitize large portions of its collections from the Cretaceous Period to today, allowing researchers to study these important specimens without making the trip to Boulder. It also sheds new light on Triceratops, which munched on vegetation in a much balmier Colorado 68 to 66 million years ago.