Five Things We Don’t Know About Tyrannosaurus Rex
As the Smithsonian welcomes the arrival of its fossil rex, scientists reveal all that we have yet to learn about this magnificent creature
At the crack of dawn this morning, a long-awaited Tyrannosaurus rex skeleton, dubbed the Nation’s T. rex, ended its epic road trip, when a 53-foot-long semi pulled up to the loading dock at the National Museum of Natural History in Washington, DC. The arrival of the Nation’s T. Rex marks both the end of the specimen’s long journey from its previous home at the Museum of the Rockies in Bozeman, Montana, and the end of the Smithsonian’s long quest to acquire a T. rex specimen.
Originally named for its discoverer, rancher Kathy Wankel who found it in 1988 in eastern Montana, the fossil was excavated by paleontologist Jack Horner in 1989 to 1990. The 65-million-year-old specimen is one of the most complete T. rex skeletons found. At 38-feet-long and weighing in at 7 tons, the fossil skeleton now called the Nation’s T-rex will get its moment in the spotlight, as part of the museum’s dinosaur hall, which will close for renovations on April 28 to reopen again in 2019.