Field Museum to be home for world's largest dinosaur: Can you say Patagotitan mayorum?

Field Museum to be home for world's largest dinosaur: Can you say Patagotitan mayorum?

Big news at the Field Museum

The The Field Museum has announced a new resident dinosaur will be moving into Stanley Field Hall late spring of 2018.

The new dinosaur made from the fossil bones of Patagotitan mayorum (pat-uh-go-tie-tan my-or-um) is 122 feet long. To get a perspective on this, picture two accordion CTA buses end-to-end. Then imagine something just a bit longer.

You got it.

The gigantic, long-necked plant-eating dinosaur, part of a group of dinosaurs called titanosaurs, would have been native to Argentina.

The herbivore is so tall that its head reaches all the way up to the second-floor balcony of the Museum where visitors will be able to meet eye-to-eye with the creature. While guests on the main floor will be invited to touch the titanosaur cast and walk underneath it.

And you thought T. rex SUE was big.  At 40.5 feet long, SUE is the world’s biggest T. rex but only a third the size of the Patagotitan mayorum (who we’ll call Pat until Field gives it a name).

In case you are wondering about SUE the T. rex–Chicago’s favorite resident dinosaur. No worries. SUE, who by the way even has her own twitter account (@SUEtheTrex), will be just fine.

She will be getting her own room and a makeover.

A whole new gallery will be added to the dinosaur section of Griffin Halls Evolving Planet to showcase SUE and tell the story of her life on Earth. The new exhibition space, will span around 5,800 square feet and feature cutting-edge multimedia technology, digital interactives, and fossils discovered alongside SUE that illustrate the world she lived in—all in all, says Senior Exhibitions Project Manager Hilary Hansen, “a state-of-the-art experience worthy of SUE.”

The most dramatic scientific change to SUE will be the addition of her gastralia—a set of bones that look like an additional set of ribs stretched across her belly. Gastralia are rarely preserved in tyrannosaurs, and scientists weren’t quite sure how to position them when SUE’s skeleton was first mounted in 2000. In the years since, research on SUE’s gastralia has illuminated their function and placement.

SUE will come down from her current mount in February 2018, and she’ll be unveiled in her new home in the spring of 2019. The titanosaur will go up in less than a month next spring and will be on view starting in late spring 2018. Along with the cast of the titanosaur skeleton, there will also be some of its real bones on display, including an 8-foot-long thighbone.

SUE’s renovation and the titanosaur’s arrival are possible thanks to the support of Ken Griffin whose Charitable Fund’s gift of $16.5 million–one of the largest private contributions ever to a Chicago museum–made it possible.

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