If you love dinosaurs, this fossil is one of the most unique and rarest discoveries the world has ever seen. 

Montana might be known for having cowboys, wildlife, and harsh winters, but one fact about Montana is we are also a hotbed when it comes to dinosaur fossils. All over Montana, especially Eastern Montana, incredible dinosaur fossils have been uncovered. 

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Triceratop, Tyrannosaurus Rex, Velociraptors, and other fossils have been found throughout Montana. Many of these fossils are displayed at the legendary Museum of the Rockies in Bozeman.

Museum of the Rockies via Facebook
Museum of the Rockies via Facebook

One fossil found in Montana is so unique and incredible that it has been under a litigation battle for years and will finally be shown to the public. 

The infamous Dueling Dinosaurs was discovered in 2006 by a few ranchers when the tail of a Tricerapots was poking out of the ground and what they uncovered was something that no one has ever seen. 

This fossil shows a Triceratops fighting a Tyrannosaurus Rex perfectly preserved and is one of the most iconic dinosaur fossil discoveries. After the discovery, several private owners and museums reached out to purchase the fossil. What happened next was a legal nightmare. 

@lindsaynikole absolutely insane find #fossil #dinosaur #prehistoric #extinctanimals #learnontiktok #greenscreen ♬ Heretic - Oli XL

Credit: Lindsay Nikole via TikTok

For years, there was a battle on who owned the rights to the Dueling Dinosaurs. The discovery became a landmark case with the Montana Supreme Court on whether or not fossils fall under mineral rights and many paleontologists fought against this idea. 

Luckily in 2020, the Montana Supreme Court agreed with paleontologists that fossils are not part of mineral rights and could be sold privately to either a collector or a museum. 

The downside is the Dueling Dinosaurs, even though found in Montana, will be on display at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Science. You would think the Museum of the Rockies would want this historical fossil to educate and show off to future generations, but the North Carolina Museum of Natural Science raised over $6 million to purchase the fossil. 

Photo by Jesse James
Photo by Jesse James

Even though Montana wasn't able to keep this incredible fossil within the state for locals to see, at least we know the fossil is in good hands. The last two dinosaur fossils found on private land were sold at auction to private collectors and will never be seen by the public. 

At least the Dueling Dinosaurs will debut at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Science this year. 

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