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Sue The Dinosaur

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Sue The Dinosaur Essay, Research Paper

Sue is the largest, most complete, and best-preserved Tyrannosaurus rex. Fossil hunter Sue Hendrickson discovered her in 1990, in the badlands of South Dakota. The Field Museum purchased Sue at public auction in 1997 with generous financial support from McDonald s Corporation, Walt Disney World Resort, and private individuals. Sue s scientific name is Tyrannosaurus rex, which is from the Greek and Latin for “tyrant lizard king”. Sue s is from the late Cretaceous period and is 67 million years. Sue s range was in Western North America and was discovered August 12, 1990, on the Cheyenne River Sioux Indian Reservation near Faith, South Dakota, by fossil hunter Sue Hendrickson.

This Tyrannosaurus rex s length is 42 feet (12.8 meters), its height at hips is 13 feet (4.0 meters). The estimated live weight of Sue is 7 tons (6.4 metric tons), the weight of the skull is 600 pounds (272 kg) and its length is 5 feet (1.5 meters). Sue s brain cavity size is just big enough to hold a quart of milk. Sue s 58 teeth range from 7 1/2 to 12 inches (19.05 to 30.5 centimeters) in length which are necessary for the diet that T-rex s have. Scientist still to this day have not determined what sex Sue is, right now it s classified as unknown. To find out, they would have to compare many fairly complete specimens–many more than the twenty-two that have been found.

Sue has very important significance today. Why? Well the first T-rex specimen was found in 1900. Since then, only seven skeletons that are more than half complete have been discovered. Of these, Sue is the largest, most complete, and best-preserved T-rex ever found. Most of Sue s bones are in excellent condition and have a high degree of surface detail. Sixty-seven million years after her death, it is still possible to see fine details showing where muscles, tendons, and other soft tissues rested against or attached to the bone. Sue s completeness, combined with the superb preservation of the bones, makes her a precious scientific resource, permitting highly detailed study of T- rex anatomy.

Sue was not discovered by accident but the story is very interesting. In the summer of 1990, Sue Hendrickson was working as a fossil hunter with a commercial fossil collecting team from the Black Hills Institute at a dig site near Faith, South Dakota. Early on the morning of August 12, the team discovered their truck had a flat tire. While most of the team went into town to get it fixed and to take a short break from the heat, Sue stayed behind to look for fossils.

She hiked over to some sandstone bluffs that had previously caught her attention. Within minutes she spotted some bone fragments on the ground. She scanned the cliffs above to find out where the fragments had fallen from and saw dinosaur bones big ones. She climbed up the cliff for a better look at the bones, and saw they were huge. She thought she had found a T. rex, and when the team returned, they confirmed her find and promptly named it “Sue” in her honor.

It took six fossil hunters 17 days to get Sue out of the ground; it took ten preparators two years to clean and repair her bones. A T. rex skeleton is made up of more than 250 bones. Sue was found with most of those bones. She s missing only a foot, one arm, and a few ribs and vertebrae. Only two complete T. rex forelimbs have ever been found and Sue s is one of them! Sue s legs are enormous, but her arms are the size of a human s so short they couldn t even reach her mouth. No one knows how T. rex used those tiny forelimbs. Sue s razor-sharp teeth were continually shed and re-grown during her lifetime. Sue has answered many questions about the dinosaurs but yet there are still many more mysteries about the dinosaurs out there. Sue has brought us one step closer to answering many mysteries of the dinosaurs. If you would like to see Sue today it is located in The Field Museum in Chicago,

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