August 12, 1990: ‘Sue’ the T. Rex is Discovered
On this day in 1990, the best preserved skeleton of a Tyrannosaurus Rex was discovered in western South Dakota. Ten years later, the Sue exhibit went on display at Chicago’s Field Museum. Sue, or FMNH PR 2081, has a record 80 percent complete skeleton.
Perhaps the greatest mystery about dinosaurs is how did they get so big? Sue is fully 20 feet tall and 40 feet long. How she got that big, it turns out, is tied up in yet another mystery: How long did she live?
By studying the bones of both extinct dinosaurs and their living reptilian cousins—alligators and lizards—Greg Erickson of Florida State University has been able to answer both questions: like a reptilian James Dean, T. rex lived fast and died young.
Photo: Sue the T-Rex at the Field Museum of Natural History, Chicago, IL (OnFirstWhols, Wikimedia Commons)