SUE is back and better than ever. The world’s biggest, best-preserved and most T. rex will be back on permanent display on Friday, Dec. 21 at the Field Museum.
After a year out of the public view, SUE has been updated and moved to a new private suite that will immerse visitors into SUE’s world from 67 million years ago.
What’s new with SUE?
SUE’s new home will be within the museum’s Griffin Halls of Evolving Planet. The new suite will be 5,100 square feet, bigger than a professional basketball court, and filled with cutting-edge interactive and animated displays. Visitors can see how SUE would have interacted with other dinosaurs, what the prehistoric landscape looked like, and how SUE was discovered.
Museum-goers will also discover exciting new facts about the world’s most famous fossil. Over the past 18 years, Field Museum scientists have unearthed new information about SUE that will be incorporated into the new exhibit.
One significant update — a new set of bones. The gastralia, which look like an interior set of ribs, are extremely rare to find in fossils and scientists wasn’t sure how to position them when SUE was originally mounted. But recent advancements have given them a better understanding about the function of these bones and where they fit inside SUE.
Another change will be in SUE’s posture. Instead of skulking, SUE will be standing tall to give visitors a better sense of how big the largest T. rex ever discovered actually is.
What should I know before visiting?
If you’re planning a trip to see SUE in her new digs, there are a few things to know before you go.
- The Field Museum is anticipating a high number of visitors between Dec. 21 and Jan. 6, so skip the line and buy tickets ahead of time online. SUE’s exhibit is included with all levels of admission.
- If you visit between Dec. 21 and Jan. 6, you’ll get a specific time slot to see SUE when you buy your ticket
- The museum is open everyday expect Dec. 25, so there’s plenty of time to see SUE before and after the holidays.
- The Field Museum can be reached by car and public transit. Get more information about parking and getting there.
- Make sure to take and share photos (we love a good SUE selfie) and tag them with #SUEOnTheMove.
- Before and after saying hi to SUE, make sure to check out all the other cool exhibits at the Field Museum.
The Field Museum has more tips on what to know before you go.
What makes SUE special?
SUE’s skeleton is about 90 percent complete, with 224 of the 321 known bones in the T. rex skeleton. That makes SUE the most complete T. rex out of the more than 30 skeletons that have been found across the globe. SUE is also the biggest and best preserved specimen T. rex ever discovered.
The discovery of SUE has been invaluable to the scientific community. All across the world, scientists have been able to learn more about the species than ever before. For instance, SUE has helped us understand more about dinosaurs’ intellect, biomechanics and movement, and even how T. rex like SUE used their arms.
SUE was first discovered in 1990. The fossil was uncovered on an excavation trip in South Dakota by Sue Hendrickson. It took six people 17 days to extract the dinosaur’s bones from the earth. Scientists estimate Sue lived during the Cretaceous period — about 67 million years ago.
Where was SUE before?
SUE’s previous home was in the Stanley Field Hall, the museum’s grand entrance area. That spot is now occupied by Máximo the Titanosaur. The long-necked creature is the biggest dinosaur that scientists have discovered to date, stretching 122 feet long and 28 feet high. He took over the hall from SUE in June 2018.
But don’t worry, there’s no hard feelings. SUE has an active Twitter presence and has dubbed Maximo “cool” and “my sidekick”…even if he’s a plant eater.
It’s currently 1:26AM.
Màximo has arrived and isn’t even assembled yet.
There is a deafening *CRUNCH* of salad emanating from Stanley Field Hall.
Gonna invest in some earplugs tomorrow.
— SUE the T. rex (@SUEtheTrex) May 23, 2018