There is hardly anyone who hasn’t heard about the incredible Sue the T Rex. This amazing dinosaur fossil is not only the most famous skeleton but also the biggest one ever. Science is full of numerous stories that are still untold and various questions ready to be exposed but only one thing can give all the answers. Sue the T Rex. A massive predator who lived a million years ago. Sue the T Rex is the best-preserved Tyrannosaurus rex ever.
If you have always wanted to know more about this giant creature and you have so many questions without answers, you are in the right place. This complete guide will tell you everything you have ever wanted to know about Sue the T Rex.
Let’s dive into the world of dinosaurs.
Who is Sue The T Rex?
For all those who haven’t heard about Sue, keep reading. The world’s largest Tyrannosaurus rex skeleton is one of the best-preserved ones. Frequently talked about on Twitter and other social media networks, this giant T-rex has become a real celebrity. If you don’t believe us, visit its own Twitter profile where you can laugh out loud on the hilarious predators’ posts, jokes, and comments. Sue has more than 57 000 followers, which makes her one of the most popular art pieces and one of the most visited exhibits in the world.
Like many other dinosaur fossils and skeletons who’ve been named to honor someone involved in their discovery, the same thing happened with Sue. This T Rex was named after her discoverer, Sue Hendrickson. Hendrickson had been an explorer for a long time. She traveled around the world to collect amber fossil insects, fish aquarium specimens, and whale fossils.
After she got back to South Dakota, she decided to go hunting for dinosaur fossils. One day, while walking with her dog, Hendrickson made a discovery of a few dinosaur bones. After 17 days of careful work by the team at BHI (Black Hills Institute of Geological Research), excavated fossils were named after the discoverer. Sue the Tyrannosaurus Rex was born.
Sue the T Rex is also the most complete dinosaur specimen. Around 90% of dinosaurs’ bones are collected and presented. In other words, 250 bones of approximately 380 are known, including gastralia (which is believed to have helped Sue breathe) and furcula (wishbone). Wishbones are typical for bird skeletons so this supports the theory that birds evolved from dinosaurs.
Where to find Sue the T Rex?
Sue the T Rex is 67-million-years-old and a proud resident of the Field Museum Chicago, Illinois. For almost 20 years, this queen of dinosaurs has been on display in the main hall of the Field Museum. However, it was upgraded as the museum’s curator wanted to emphasize its size and importance. Today, Sue the T Rex can be found in the same museum but in the much smaller room, which gives a better idea of her real size. She also got all of her bones displayed in one place as they added belly ribs to her skeleton and made updates to her posture.
If you decide that you want to get close up and personal with this fascinating skeleton, first you will have to enter the Late Cretaceous forest. Sue is the largest and most complete specimen of the T Rex skeleton. It will surely take your breath away just by watching shark teeth and its giant T Rex skull.
While you are there, awed by this notorious predator, don’t forget to take a look at other exhibits. You will find fossils of small mammals, fish and other creatures who lived at the same time as Sue the T Rex. There is also a cool media display where you can experience South Dakota from 67 million years ago. A fun multimedia experience is a must-do, as it will take you to a period when one of the largest predators has ruled the world. It’s an unavoidable chance to learn more about the way dinosaurs hunted, how they interacted with one another or even how they pooped! How cool is that?
How Did Sue Come To This Museum And Not Any Other?
Well, after Hendrickson’s spectacular discovery, various parties went into the battle for custody. After five years of negotiations, the custody battle ended in a public auction in 1997. The highest bidder was The Field Museum, which had support from private donors, McDonald’s, and the Walt Disney World Resort. The Field Museum offered an incredible $8.4 million, which is the highest price ever paid at auction for a fossil exhibit.
The story doesn’t stop here. The Field Museum’s staff spent more than 30.000 hours preparing the skeleton and more than 20.000 hours building the exhibition. The numbers say it all.
Why Is Sue So Important?
One of the world’s best-known dinosaur fossils is magnificent in every way. With its mentioned height and dimensions, it is physically the largest T Rex skeleton out of all specimens that have been discovered. It is also the most complete dinosaur skeleton as more than 90 % of bones are presented in this T rex skeleton.
However, probably the most important reason why everyone is so excited about Sue is the meaning she brings. It gives a completely new insight into the lives of these predators, as well as a new understanding of the species. It is also a great starting point for all future scientists and their further research study. In other words, thanks to the magnificent discovery of Sue the T Rex, scientists from all over the world will make detailed studies of the specimen. Those studies will expand science’s field of knowledge and growth, which will be a benefit for the whole world.
Furthermore, the tyrannosaurus Sue is the only one who can give answers to all questions about Tyrannosaurus in particular. Her fossils can tell us about the environment she lived in, what she ate, how she used her hands and many other interesting things! Also, even though Sue was a giant creature, she had her arms in the size of humans.
All that hard work has already been worth it because today, Sue is the most famous dinosaur fossil who even has its own Twitter profile! Due to its popularity, numerous people started to visit museums and began to be interested in the history of science and natural history.
Interesting Facts About Sue The Tyrannosaurus Rex
- Sue the T Rex lived about 28 years
If you wonder how the scientists know this, here it is. They examined dinosaur bones that have growth rings, just like the trees have their own. Sue lived longer than any other dinosaur that was discovered.
- It is not known if Sue the T Rex was a female
All fossils that were discovered were always named after the discoverer. As you already know, the same thing happened with this skeleton too. Sue the T Rex was named after her discoverer Sue Hendrickson but the gender of this skeleton is still unknown.
- Sue the T Rex is the highest priced fossil exhibit ever!
The Field Museum offered an unbelievable $8.4 million to win a custody battle over this T Rex skeleton.
- Sue the T Rex height is 13 feet tall and 40 feet long
With these measurements, Sue the T Rex is definitely the largest Tyrannosaurus Rex specimen ever discovered.
- Sue the T Rex Skull weighs 600 pounds
The research study discovered not only the weight of T Rex Skull but also holes in the lower jaw. It seems Sue had a dental infection!
- Sue the T Rex Skull also contains the longest tooth yet known.
Speaking of dental topics, Sue’s scariest tooth is a foot long. There was no joke with her!
- Sue the T Rex was not so quick on the go
Research studies showed that an average T Rex dinosaur walked at 6 mph and ran at about 15 mph, which is much slower than thought. She also probably walked on her toes while her tail did not touch the ground. Just like in the Jurassic Park movie!
Sue the T Rex Home Today
To make the most of your visit, here are some important pieces of information about the Field Museum.
Located in Chicago, Illinois, The Field Museum is an amazing place that connects natural history and science. Besides dinosaur skeletons, you will have a chance to enjoy spectacular ancient artifacts, cultural insights, and unbelievable science facts.
This paradise for history buffs is opened daily from 9 am until 5 pm, with the last admission at 4 pm. The only day when they close their doors is Christmas.
Visit their website for more info about ticket prices and special offers.
Extra tip: Every Wednesday is free of charge for all Illinois residents. Bring your ID and have fun in one of the most interesting museums in the region!
What do you think about the queen of dinosaurs? Have you already seen her skeleton in the Field Museum? Let us know in the comments below.