Big News at the Field Museum: SUE returns in time for the holidays

Big News at the Field Museum: SUE returns in time for the holidays

She’s (they) back!

The wait is almost over. SUE, the world’s biggest, best-preserved, and most complete T. rex, will be back on display earlier than expected at the Field Museum.

The big day: Friday, December 21. You will be able to find her (them) inside her (them) new digs in the museum’s Griffin Halls of Evolving Planet.

In case you don’t remember, SUE was removed from the museum’s Stanley Field Hall, to make room for Maximo and to get “a facelift” of sorts to match the latest scientific research. 

SUE now has a set of bones that originally flummoxed scientists when the fossil was first found. Pete Makovicky, the museum’s curator of dinosaurs, explains, “T. rex had a set of bones across its abdomen called gastralia—they’re like belly ribs, and they helped T. rex breathe. “When SUE was discovered, scientists didn’t know exactly how the gastralia fit onto the skeleton, so they were left off.”

With the gastralia added, SUE looks a lot bigger.

“We’re excited to finally complete our decades-long plan to put SUE in a proper scientific context alongside our other dinosaurs and offer an experience that really shows off why SUE is widely considered the greatest dinosaur fossil in the world,” says Field Museum president Richard Lariviere. This is the biggest, scariest, and most impressive SUE’s ever looked,” says Lariviere.

 SUE’s new suite is 5,100 square feet—bigger than a professional basketball court—and packed with interactive displays. “SUE’s gallery will give visitors a glimpse of the world SUE lived in,” says Director of Exhibitions Jaap Hoogstraten. “It’ll include cutting-edge animations showing how SUE would have interacted with other dinosaurs and what the landscape would have looked like. People will also get to learn about SUE’s discovery and the things scientists have learned about SUE over the last few decades.

 When reached for comment, @SUEtheTrex responded, “I’m just so proud of all the work the team has done to give folks the greatest holiday gift of all: Me.”

Special request from the Field Museum: Please, do not body-shame our T. rex. SUE is perfect just the way they are. And, yes, “they” is correct there—scientists don’t know if SUE was male or female, so in the spirit of scientific accuracy and LGBTQ inclusivity, we’ve transitioned to singular “they/them” pronouns instead of calling SUE “she” or “her.”

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Filed under: Field Museum.

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