There are many dinosaur (and other fossil) specimens that are famous not so much for what they are as what they show (as with Big Mama featured here the other day). A complete T.rex is all very well (and very useful and interesting and fundamentally cool, I’m happy to admit), but some things are so incredibly rare and unlikely to preserve that to have them as fossils is truly amazing. The most obvious archosaurian example of this is the famous fighting dinosaurs of Mongolia that show a Velociraptor and Protoceratops locked in combat. These have become the subject of much analysis and much speculation as to quite how they died and got preserved in such a posture.
I’m going to join in that debate any further but merely point out that the Velociraptor has its foot claw jammed up in the throat region of the Protoceratops, but equally has its arm stuck in the mouth of its adversary. They may or may not have died together, but it is certainly possible that this was a case where each killed the other. It’s also worth noting that they are preserved pretty much in 3-D and have not collapsed into the sand as one might expect, something that is actually quite common in specimens from the area.
These photos are of a fantastically well made cast of the pair that are on display in Japan. While photos of the original have been reproduced many times in all kinds of media, they always seem to be of the same shot, or at least one taken from the same angle, so hopefully these will provide some interest.
While the photos are mine, I have graciously been given permission to post these by the Fukui Prefectual Museum. Please do not reproduce these.