Though several have previously been found in South Dakota, this appears to be the largest ever. Cleaning the skull in preparation for complete measurements could take up to a year and a half.
The eight-foot skull was discovered by fossil hunter John Carter and purchased by Alan Detrich, who plans to sell the skull to an institution for display. Experts believe that triceratops lived only in the western United States, although related species lived in other parts of the world. Though skulls are relatively common finds (there are about 100 known examples), a full skeleton is rare. This most recent skull will be paired with a separate skeleton for better exhibition (“Triceratops Head Found in SD Could Be Biggest Ever,” WashingtonExaminer.com, Oct. 29, 2012).