10th Anniversary of “Sue” Tyrannosaurus rex on Display at the Field Museum

Today, May 17th, marks the 10th anniversary of the Tyrannosaurus rex specimen known as “Sue” going on display at the Field Museum, Chicago (United States).  The dinosaur is called “Sue” after Sue Hendrickson who discovered the remains of this Tyrannosaurus rex eroding out of a butte in South Dakota (August 12th 1990).

Although, recently resized resulting in the loss of a foot or two, “Sue” is still the largest, most complete and one of the best preserved of all Tyrannosaurus rex fossils ever found.  Since her debut, ten years ago today, many millions of visitors have seen her at the Chicago Field Museum.

This particular Tyrannosaurus rex fossil is believed to be a female, so the name “Sue”, is entirely appropriate.  Although scientists cannot be certain about the gender of this specimen, if the first chevron bone morphology mimics that found in extant crocodiles then this is a good indicator and would suggest that this T. rex is indeed a girl.

It is important that “Sue” looks her best for her anniversary celebrations, so over the last few weeks she has been undergoing a spring clean.  This is a long and laborious process, with workers at the museum, carefully dusting and cleaning the specimen.  For those tricky parts such as up her enormous nostrils, feather dusters have been used.

“Sue” the Tyrannosaurus rex getting A Spring Clean

Picture Credit: Associated Press/Kirchiro Sato

Bill Simpson, the vertebrate fossil collection manager at the Field Museum is dusting the caudal vertebrae of the Tyrannosaurus rex specimen.  Although, a recent analysis has resized this T. rex making her slightly shorter, the scale of this animal in relation to an adult human is clear to see.

Not only has “Sue” proved to be an immense draw at museum, she is also very important to palaeontologists having provided a wealth of data and new dinosaur information.

To read more about “Sue’s” importance to palaeontology: Tyrannosaurus rex “Sue” a bargain at $8.36 million USD

Dusting the Skull of a Tyrannosaurus rex

Dusting T. rex

Picture Credit: Associated Press/Kirchiro Sato

The Field Museum plans a number of events and presentations to celebrate the anniversary of their most famous exhibit going on display.  These events and activities will run until the end of the year.  For “Sue” an apex predator, we are sure that she will take it all in her stride, after all, she has been used to the limelight for ten years now.

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