Fact Check: Theodore Roosevelt Supposedly Posed for Photo with Last Known Triceratops. Here Are the Facts

X account @ilmellivora
X account @ilmellivora


A black-and-white photo being shared online between March and May 2024 showed former U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt standing over a lifeless, last-known triceratops.


Rating: Fake
Rating: Fake

On May 1, 2024, an X account posted a photo allegedly depicting a man standing over the last known triceratops and claimed it was hunted for its antlers in 1908.

The caption, originally in Italian, read: "This is the photo of the last known Triceratops specimen. He was hunted in 1908 for the value of his antlers."

Teddy Roosevelt photographed with last known triceratops
Teddy Roosevelt photographed with last known triceratops

(@ilmellivora / X)

Similar posts appeared on Facebook, where one post had amassed more than 93,000 interactions at the time of this writing, while the X post amassed more than 377,000 views.

The image was also shared on Facebook in March 2024, where two two users posted the picture with an accompanying caption claiming the man in the picture was former U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt.

The caption read: "Theodore Roosevelt with last known Triceratops 1909."


However, the original image was created by Instagram user @dr_deviny, or Jon Deviny, who used Photoshop to combine multiple photos, which is why we rated the claim and picture "Fake."

He posted it on Feb. 23, 2015, with the caption: "Fun fact: Theodore Roosevelt (the 26th US president) was an avid big game hunter. #nofilter #unedited #biggame #hunting #teddy #Roosevelt #president #theodoreroosevelt #dinosaur #triceratops #photoshop #funny #jurassicpark #jurassicworld #dino."

When asked in the comments by another Instagram user whether he owned the rights to the image, Jon Deviny replied:

"I did the Photoshop magic but I don't own the rights to the images I used. The one of Roosevelt is public domain but the triceratops is a shot from the set of Jurassic park. If your husband wants to print it that's fine by me as long as his intentions aren't to sell them. I don't have a high res version unfortunately."

Deviny also confirmed to Snopes on May 5, 2024, that he created the image through Photoshop by using a behind the scenes image from Jurassic Park and a hunting picture of Roosevelt.

The photo, and varying claims about what it depicted, appeared online numerous times since first being posted, such as on Imgur in February 2015, on Reddit in January 2017, where it was claimed it showed a now-extinct Eurasian giant rhino, and on Instagram in November 2023, where it was claimed the photo was taken in 1904.

Facebook users made similar claims about a different photo allegedly showing the last known triceratops in posts in April 2024.

It is widely accepted and reported the triceratops went extinct roughly 65-66 million years ago.


Imgur. 'Imgur'. Imgur, https://imgur.com/. Accessed 2 May 2024.

Instagram. https://www.instagram.com/p/zbp1NxMZgN/. Accessed 2 May 2024.

---. https://www.instagram.com/dinosaur_ins/p/Cz-FPlYvZgj/. Accessed 2 May 2024.

Log in or Sign up to View. https://www.facebook.com/login/. Accessed 2 May 2024.

---. https://www.facebook.com/login/. Accessed 2 May 2024.

---. https://www.facebook.com/login/. Accessed 2 May 2024.

'Mass Extinction: What Happened 65 Million Years Ago? | AMNH'. American Museum of Natural History, https://www.amnh.org/exhibitions/dinosaurs-ancient-fossils/extinction/mass-extinction. Accessed 2 May 2024.

Reddit. www.reddit.com/r/pics/comments/5q20v5/teddy_roosevelt_with_a_nowextinct_eurasian_giant/. Accessed 2 May 2024.

Triceratops | Description, Size, Fossil, Diet, & Facts | Britannica. 5 Apr. 2024, https://www.britannica.com/animal/Triceratops.

'Triceratops Horridus, Facts and Photos'. Animals, 14 Sept. 2020, https://www.nationalgeographic.com/animals/facts/triceratops-horridus.


May 6, 2024: This story was updated to include a comment from Instagram user Jon Deviny.