Meet Big John – the largest Triceratops skeleton ever found. 🤩
He lived during the Late Cretaceous Period, around 100-66 million years ago.
Triceratops (tri-sera-tops) is the most well-known of the ceratopsian dinosaurs.
Ceratopsians were herbivorous (plant-eating) dinosaurs with beaks. They grazed in large herds together, where Big John would have been a giant among giants. 😵
Big John’s skeleton is about 60% complete. It measures 7.15 m (23 ft 5 in) long from snout to tail tip – almost twice the length of a white rhino! 🦏
It stands 2.7 m (8 ft 10 in) tall measured at the hips.
Big John has a huge head too. The reconstructed skull is about 75% complete. It’s 2 m (6 ft 6 in) wide and 1.55 m (5 ft 1 in) long. 💀
Did you know? 🤔
The name Triceratops means 'three-horned face'. 👿
All three of Big John’s horns are in fairly good condition, with the two big brow horns each measuring 1.1 m (3 ft 7 in). 😲
According to scientists, Big John’s skull is 5–10% larger than that of any other Triceratops we’ve ever found.
"Over the years I have looked at lots of Triceratops fossils, but this is unquestionably the largest Triceratops skull I have ever seen." - Professor Philip Currie, Guinness World Records Dinosaur Expert
Big John was dug up in the USA, but he’s been doing some travelling recently. ✈️🌎
His skeleton was put back together by experts in Italy and then he was put on display in Paris, France, where he has become quite popular. 😍
“We need to clean windows at the gallery several times every day – kids literally smear against the glass with a big ‘Wooooooow’!” said Iacopo Briano, who is looking after Big John before he is sold at auction.
"Everyone is slightly shocked at first – the term ‘speechless’ would be most appropriate."
Did you know? 🤔
Triceratops weighed around 14 tonnes. That’s more than three African elephants! 🐘🐘🐘
Big John is due to be sold on 21 October at an auction in Paris. He’s expected to cost at least £1 million ($1.4 m; €1.2 m)! 💰
The most expensive dinosaur bones sold at auction were those of a T. rex skeleton – nicknamed “Stan” – which sold for £24.57 m ($31.84 m; €27.08 m) on 6 Oct 2020. 🦖
Big John was discovered in the Hell Creek Formation of South Dakota, USA, in 2014 by geologist Walter Stein. It took two years to carefully dig him out! 🦴️
Hell Creek is a hotspot for Late Cretaceous dinosaur remains, with several other record-breaking finds made here:
- Most complete Tyrannosaurus rex – a 4-m-tall (13-ft), 12.5-m-long (41-ft) 90%-complete skeleton nicknamed “Sue”, after Sue Hendrickson who found the bones in 1990.
- Largest known T. rex specimen – a record also held by Sue for many years. But in 2019, a Canadian contender for this title, named “Scotty”, stomped onto the scene. Because the two T. rexes are so similarly sized, it was decided that they should share the record.
- Largest carnivore coprolite – a huge fossilized poop measuring 67.5 cm (2 ft 2.25 in) long, which most likely came from a T. rex. The mega-poop was named Barnum by coprolite collector George Frandsen (USA).
Check out George's largest collection of coprolites in this video 👇💩👇
In the new Guinness World Records 2022 book, the Triceratops is one of six record-breaking dinosaurs you can virtually resurrect via augmented reality (AR). Flip to page 40 to find out how!