Thanks for visiting!

This project is now in update mode. Check back regularly to see how things are progressing.

UC Museum of Paleontology | See-through Dinosaur Skull

Raised toward our $10,000 Goal
24 Donors
Project has ended
Project ended on February 28, at 11:59 PM PST
Project Owners

UC Museum of Paleontology | See-through Dinosaur Skull

Help us make the first ever See-Through Dinosaur Skull

Dinosaur paleobiologists now use a variety of modern tools in their research that help reveal the inner, neurovascular anatomy of dinosaurs in ways we have never seen before. Combining high resolution computed tomography (HRCT) scanning and 3D printing, we now have an opportunity to bring to life for the first time the inner workings of the interior of the smallest and youngest Triceratops yet known from the UCMP collections. This 3D printed “see-through” skull, which we intend to put on display with the current Triceratops growth series in the Marian Koshland Bioscience and Natural Resources Library of the Valley Life Sciences Building, will be the first “see-through” dinosaur skull anywhere! 


You can help UCMP make this happen by supporting our project

With community support we will create a “see-through” 3D printed cast of UCMP’s baby Triceratops skull to go alongside UCMP’s Triceratops family on display in the Valley Life Sciences Building. The UCMP successfully employed this technology to print the very first see-through Triceratops rostral or “beak” from CT scans of a subadult skull showing a robust network of blood vessels that in life nourished the bone. This may be evidence of a neurovascular network that allowed Triceratops to sense subtle changes in its environment related to feeding and other behaviors. What the baby Triceratops skull will reveal is unknown but the fossils will be CT scanned, then volume rendered using medical imaging software, followed by 3D printing. The 3D plastic casts of the individual skull bones will be assembled into our reconstructed “see-through” skull!

If we are fortunate to surpass our fundraising goal, additional Triceratops and other dinosaurs in the UCMP collections, such as the “dome-headed” Pachycephalosaurus, will be CT scanned, imaged and 3D printed as part of ongoing studies by Dr. Goodwin and his team to understand how dinosaur skulls grow. These high-resolution CT scans provide an extraordinary look at how the skull bones fit together and variable bone texture as they grow. Your support of this research will directly contribute to an improved understanding of the paleobiology and function of these bizarre horns, bumps and bony domes expressed by these dinosaurs throughout their life history.  



Photo credit: Dave Strauss

Photo credit: Dave Strauss


Our Mission

The mission of the UCMP is to investigate and promote the understanding of the history of life and the diversity of the Earth's biota through research and education.  We are one of the largest university-based paleontological research collections in the world and we house specimens collected before the founding of UC Berkeley.  Our diverse natural history collection includes dinosaur and other vertebrates but invertebrates, fossils in amber, and plants from every continent. These fossils are the foundation of the UCMP and provide a gateway portal to collection-based research, outreach, and education.


Photo credit: Paul Hudson

Photo credit: Paul Hudson


Our budget breakdown:



Our way
of Thanking You


Newsletter Shout-out

A thank you shout-out in the UCMP Newsletter

1 of 400 Claimed
Estimated Delivery: March 2017


Newsletter Shout-out

A thank you shout-out in the UCMP Newsletter

9 of 400 Claimed
Estimated Delivery: May 2017


Calendar and Shout-out

A thank you shout-out in our UCMP Newsletter and a 2017 UCMP calendar digital download

8 of 200 Claimed
Estimated Delivery: May 2017


Digital Triceratops Poster

A digital Triceratops poster and a thank you shout-out in the UCMP Newsletter

0 of 125 Claimed
Estimated Delivery: May 2017


UCMP Short Course

Free registration for donor and 1 guest to the UCMP Short Course on March 4, 2017. Will also receive a thank you shout-out in the UCMP Newsletter and digital Triceratops poster

0 of 20 Claimed
Estimated Delivery: March 2017


Behind the Scenes Tour of UCMP

2 Tickets to join a UCMP "Behind the Scenes" group tour of fossil collections at UC Berkeley's campus-wide Cal Day on April 22, 2017. Will also receive a UCMP Newsletter shout-out and digital Triceratops poster.

1 of 6 Claimed
Estimated Delivery: April 2017


See Original Baby Triceratops

See the original baby Triceratops skull fossils with UCMP paleontologist and Assistant Director Dr. Mark Goodwin, along with a private tour, thank you shout-out in the UCMP Newsletter, and digital Triceratops Poster (max 6 in tour, 1 adult/child.)

0 of 4 Claimed
Estimated Delivery: May 2017


Fossils in the Bell Tower Tour

Exclusive tour of bones in the bell tower in UC Berkeley's landmark Sather Tower, view the original baby Triceratops skull, receive a UCMP Newsletter thank you shout-out and digital Triceratops poster (max 6 in tour, 1 adult/child, not available on weekends).

0 of 3 Claimed
Estimated Delivery: May 2017


Join a Dinosaur Dig!

Join Dr. Mark Goodwin at his field site for five days of paleontology and geology-focused fun, four nights of camping with all meals included. Just bring your sleeping bags, good hiking shoes, a backpack, water bottle and sunscreen! Dr. Goodwin and Dr. Lisa White of the UCMP will host two adults and 2-3 children (ages 8 & up) in the badlands of northcentral Montana where they will prospect for and collect dinosaur bones and other fossils for the UCMP on a private ranch where the UCMP conducts field research. Guests arrange and pay for their own airfare, transportation, SUV rental (required) and hotel (if needed in transit). Special dietary needs are the responsibility of the guests. Standard liability waivers, health insurance required. Dates TBD by mutual agreement for July or August 2017. Pre-trip orientation and behind the scenes tour of the UCMP included. Questions? Contact Dr. Mark Goodwin:

0 of 1 Claimed
Estimated Delivery: August 2017
Our Crowdfunding Groups