Today, the Field Museum announced a major shakeup of prehistoric programming in its main exhibition hall. Under the plan, Chicago’s famous Sue the T-Rex—the world’s largest and most complete fossil of the extinct predator—will move to a dedicated gallery space in the museum’s permanent evolution exhibit. In Sue’s place in Stanley Field Hall, the museum will install a massive, touchable cast of a titanosaur skeleton.
Known by its scientific name of Patagotitan mayorum, the Argentinian herbivore represents planet Earth’s largest land-dwelling animal species discovered by paleontologists. At 122 feet from nose to tail, the upcoming sauropod skeleton is expected to make a far greater impact than Sue’s already impressive 40-foot-long remains when it is installed in the spring of 2018.
“The titanosaur is huge, and it’ll look right at home in Stanley Field Hall,” said Senior Exhibitions Project Manager Hilary Hansen via official statement. “It’s a big, majestic space which will be the perfect backdrop for the world’s largest dinosaur.”
The move is made possible thanks to a $16.5 million charitable donation from Ken Griffin—billionaire founder and CEO of Chicago-based hedge fund Citadel LLC and Illinois’ richest resident. Griffin also gifted $12 million to the Chicago Park District to jump-start a project to separate joggers and bikers on Chicago’s Lakefront Trail.
Sue the T-Rex is slated to be removed from Stanley Field Hall in February of 2018. The skeleton will be remounted with the addition of its lower belly (or gastralia) bones and repositioned to reflect the latest scientific knowledge. The tyrannosaur’s online twitter handle—recently renamed ‘Private Suite Haver’—has been particularly feisty following the news of the reshuffle. Sue’s reinstallation is expected to be complete in the spring of 2019.
Look, it's all fun and games until someone gets bit on the cloaca pic.twitter.com/ura69wgqwI— Private Suite Haver (@SUEtheTrex) August 30, 2017
- Field Museum dinosaur shuffle: Titanosaur coming, Sue on the move [Chicago Sun-Times]
- The Field Museum [Official website]