News Release

'Teen Rex’ discovery highlighted in experience and film at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science

Fossils from a juvenile Tyrannosaurus rex shed light on the early life and development of these dinosaurs

Business Announcement

Denver Museum of Nature & Science

Dr. Tyler Lyson and kids


Denver Museum of Nature & Science's Curator of Paleontology Dr. Tyler Lyson and the trio of young fossil finders, Liam Fisher, Jessin Fisher, and Kaiden Madsen who discovered the remains of a juvenile T. rex skeleton while out looking for fossils with their dad Sam Fisher in North Dakota's bandlands in 2023. 

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Credit: Rick Wicker/Denver Museum of Nature & Science


CONTACT: Julio Poletti, Public Relations Manager,, 917.783.6760 



DENVER (May 28, 2024) — The Denver Museum of Nature & Science announces the discovery and display of a teenage Tyrannosaurus rex fossil— affectionately named “Teen Rex” — in its temporary experience, "Discovering Teen Rex" opening to the public on June 21, at 1:30 p.m. The fossil was discovered in the badlands of North Dakota by two young brothers, their dad and cousin, while on a family hike. This outing turned into a remarkable moment for science as only a handful of juvenile Tyrannosaurus rex skeletons have ever been found.  

The young fossil hunters discovered the T. rex fossil in 2022 and contacted Denver Museum of Nature & Science Associate Curator of Paleontology, Tyler Lyson, who is originally from North Dakota, to confirm the significant find. In the summer of 2023, the family returned to the site to help Dr. Lyson’s team of paleontologists excavate the fossil.  

This young T. rex offers a rare glimpse into the early life of one of the most iconic dinosaurs, its development and the ecosystems in which it lived.  

"This discovery is particularly exciting because the majority of the Tyrannosaurus rex discoveries have been of adults. Having fossils of a younger animal to study will shed light on aspects of dinosaur life, such as growth patterns,” Lyson said. “In addition, by embracing their passions and the thrill of discovery, three young scientists made an incredible dinosaur discovery that advances science, deepens our understanding of the natural world, and inspires other explorers and future scientists.” 

After the meticulous excavation and extraction of Teen Rex using a Black Hawk helicopter to lift the 5,000-pound block of fossils and protective plaster encasement this past summer, the Museum’s team of paleontologists, fossil preparators and volunteers will now begin the process of cleaning the skeleton and readying the fossils for scientific study.

The Museum would like to recognize our exhibition’s presenting sponsor, Chevron. The Museum also acknowledges the generous support of the Genesee Mountain Foundation.    

Available for interviews: 

  • Dr. Tyler Lyson, Associate Curator of Vertebrate Paleontology at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science 

  • Natalie Toth, Chief Fossil Preparator at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science   

Visitors can see the fossil in the temporary exhibition, “Discovering Teen Rex” and relive the incredible story, with actual footage of this discovery featured in the film “T. REX,” opening June 21 on the Museum’s giant screen Infinity Theater.  

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About the Denver Museum of Nature & Science:  

The Denver Museum of Nature & Science is the Rocky Mountain region’s leading resource for formal and informal science education. Many of the Museum’s educational programs and exhibits are made possible in part by the citizens of the seven-county metro area through the Scientific & Cultural Facilities District. The Museum is accredited by the American Alliance of Museums. Connect with the Museum on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, TikTok and Catalyst.     

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