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Central Museum of Mongolian Dinosaurs


Dinosaurs of all shapes, sizes and appetites once roamed the Gobi Desert. Their fossilised bones and eggs were first uncovered by American explorer Roy Chapman Andrews in the 1920s. Today you can come face-to-skull with some of the best examples of Mongolian dinosaur fossils in this museum. The centrepiece of the museum is the UV-lit 4m-tall, 3-tonne, flesh-eating Tarbosaurus bataar (a cousin of the Tyrannosaurus rex) and the smaller Saurolophus, with its distinctive cranial crest.

The Tarbosaurus bataar made international headlines in 2012 when it sold for over US$1 million at an auction in Texas. The Mongolian government protested that the fossil had been illegally smuggled out of Mongolia and demanded its return. The legal battle ended when a US judge ruled in favour of Mongolia.

The museum also includes Velociraptor and Protoceratops examples, and a nest of Oviraptor eggs. It's housed inside the former Lenin Museum, constructed in 1974. While there are plans to expand it into a world-class institution, for now it's still a bit limited in specimens. There's also another dinosaur museum, bizarrely located in the Hunnu shopping mall on the road to the airport, which has some impressive fossils on display.

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