Lonely Planet Writer

T. rex fossil issued with dinosaur passport for US to Netherlands flight

One thing no traveller can forget as they head out on an international trip is their passport – and it turns out that’s also true if you’re a dinosaur.

Trix the dinosaur's passport.
Trix was issued a dinosaur passport. Image by Netherlands Embassy in the USA

A Tyrannosaurus rex was shipped from the USA to the Netherlands last week and was given a dinosaur passport to mark its momentous journey. The 66-million-year-old fossil – which is nicknamed Trix – was flown from Chicago O’Hare International Airport to Amsterdam Schiphol on KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, along with 250 other passengers.

The T. rex was excavated in 2013 in Montana by the Dutch museum Naturalis Biodiversity Center. The centre is a museum of natural history and a research centre located in Leiden, Netherlands, where the fossil will eventually go on display.

The centre raised €5 million to transfer the fossil to the Netherlands where it will go on display at the “T. rex in Town” exhibit on 10 September 2016 at the Pesthuis in Leiden. As the centre is building a new museum, it will go on display in 2018 at the new site. 

Naturalis is the first museum outside of North America to own and exhibit a T. rex , according to a statement from the Netherlands Embassy in the US. It’ll also be the first to have the original skull mounted on the rest of the skeleton.

“Trix is a symbol of the international scientific cooperation between the Netherlands and the United States,” said Louis Piët, Consul General of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Chicago in a statement. “Trix will be for Naturalis what Rembrandt’s ‘Nightwatch’ is for the Rijksmuseum, and she will be an important contribution to the scientific research that is conducted in Leiden.”