A bronze dinosaur statue: "the oldest and the newest" Volunteer

An artist’s rendering of an Edmontosaurus, Courtesy of Mineo Shiraishi, http://www.DinosaurCentral.com.

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- The University of Tennessee is welcoming "the oldest and newest" Volunteer, a life-sized, bronze dinosaur skeleton. The 24-foot long, 2,400 lbs. sculpture will greet visitors outside of the front entrance of the McClung Museum of Natural History.

"The dinosaur will be both an educational centerpiece and a symbol of the immense time depth of life on this planet," said McClung Museum Director Jefferson Chapman.

The skeleton represents an Edmontosaurus, a hadrosaur, or duck-billed dinosaur, that roamed the coastal plains of Tennessee between 66-65 million years ago.

Weighing as much as four tons, an Edmontosarus could reach reach 40 feet in length. An herbivore, they had hoof-like nails at the ends of powerful legs and a leathery hide with zebra-like striping on the tail, the university said.

The museum also houses actual hadrosaur bones, which zoo officials say are the only non-avian dinosaur bones found in Tennessee, in its "Geology and Fossil History of Tennessee" exhibit.

The actual skeleton used for the sculpture, though, came from a one found in South Dakota in 1995. Paleontologists believe that one died after being attacked by a Tyrannosaurus rex.

The university said it will host a contest to help name the sculpture. People are asked to submit their entries online by Nov. 8. $(document).ready(function() { $(".slideLoad").click(function() { var picNumber = $(this).attr('name'); jQuery.ajax({ method: "GET", url: "http://www.local8now.com/templates/2015_Sub_News_Story_Slide", data: {id: 229127781, pos: picNumber} }) .done(function( result ) { $("#galleryImage").hide(); $("#galleryImage").html(result); $("#galleryImage").fadeIn(); }); }); });

(Courtesy: McClung Museum/University of Tennessee Knoxville)

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