Fossil evidence shows that the two-horned rhinoceros once roamed the plains of North America in great numbers. The bones and tooth wear seen in this bone bed reveal a mix of juveniles, mature adults and older individuals.


Rhinoceros Bone Bed (Menoceras)
From Western Nebraska
Lived ~20 million years ago


Vertebrate Paleontology


About a hundred years ago paleontologists discovered this spectacular bone bed of fossil rhinoceros bones and skulls in western Nebraska. These represent rhinoceroses that lived in North America about 20 million years ago. These bone beds were excavated in large chunks and they were sent to different museums all around the country and the one you see on display here is one that was given to us early on when we developed our collections of fossil vertebrates.

Bruce MacFadden
Curator, Vertebrate Paleontology*
Distinguished Professor*
Florida Museum of Natural History


On display Sept. 23, 2017-Jan. 7, 2018, Rare, Beautiful & Fascinating: 100 Years @FloridaMuseum celebrated the Museum’s rich history. Each Museum collection was asked to contribute its most interesting items and share the stories that make them special. Though the physical exhibit is closed, this companion website remains online, providing an opportunity to experience the Florida Museum’s most treasured specimens.

Exhibit Area: Objects Tell Stories

Theme: Rhinos of the Past

Cover of the All Things Beautiful bookWant to see more? Explore more than 300 breathtaking color photos of plants, animals, fossils and cultural heritage materials from the Florida Museum of Natural History’s collections in the award-winning book All Things Beautiful available from the University Press of Florida.

*This title was accurate at the time the exhibit was on display in 2017. Please visit the collection website to verify current staff and student information.

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