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“Sue” the T. rex

One of the sights at the Field Museum that I was looking forward to sketching was the largest and most complete Tyrannosaurs rex skeleton in the world.

The Field is a natural history museum, featuring many mounts and taxidermic animals from the museum’s vast collection. It it certainly has one of the best collections in the United States, containing 30 million objects, only a fraction of which can be put on display.

I had to search around for “Sue” because it was no longer on the main floor but had been moved to an upstairs hall.

You think finding one of the largest T. Rex skeletons in existence would be much easier. But it also speaks to the vast number of natural items on display at the Field Museum. After a mazy exploration of the second floor gallery a found the T. rex.

I sat before the 40.5 feet long and 13 foot tall Tyrannosaurus rex skeleton which, out of the 30 unearthed other T. rex skeletons, is the most complete (at 90%) and the largest in existence. I opened my sketchbook and put the remains in my pages.

Paleontologist do not know the gender of “Sue” which begs the question: why the name “Sue”?

“Sue” is named after the explorer who discovered it on August 12, 1990, Sue Hendrickson. The remains where uncovered on the Cheyenne River Indian Reservation in South Dakota. The bones were about 67 million years old.

Sketching a few of “Sue’s” 58 teeth.

Once the skeleton was uncovered, the remains were purchased, on October 4, 1997, by the Field Museum, at auction, for the bid of $7.6 million. We should be lucky that a public institution purchased “Sue” and has put it on display for the world to marvel at the largest Tyrannosaurus rex skeleton in the world!

This is “Sue’s” actual skull and is one of the most studied T. Rex skulls in the world. The skull on the skeleton is a reproduction.
The skull reproduction, which is the skull I sketched on the featured sketches.