Monday, July 28, 2008

A Dinosaur Named Sue

Top Image supplied by Puke Ariki & Field Museum, Chicago
Bottom Image by Grant Rewi, Auckland; Thanks to Puke Ariki & Field Museum, Chicago
When my sons were small they were obsessed with dinosaurs. They knew the names of almost every prehistoric monster that roamed the earth. So I had to smile when Grant, who now works at Auckland Museum, sent me this photo (bottom image) that he took at New Plymouth’s Puke Ariki recently. “A T.Rex Named Sue”opened in New Plymouth on July 26 and runs until November 2. Sue – a Tyrannosaurus rex skeleton measuring 12 feet tall and 42 feet long – was discovered in 1990 by commercial fossil hunter Sue Hendrickson in the Hell Creek Formation in western South Dakota, USA. The largest, most complete and best preserved T.rex skeleton yet discovered, Sue normally resides at Chicago’s Field Museum (their site has some great photos) and it took six 40-foot shipping containers to get her to New Zealand. Unpacking over 200 bones has been a big job – the skull alone measures 5-feet in length and when you see those enormous teeth you begin to appreciate why this monster has been tagged the most terrifying dinosaur of all. Fascinating stuff – and can you imagine Sue Hendrickson’s face when she dug this baby up!

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