SUE, the iconic T. rex who held the coveted spot on the Field Museum’s main floor until this past February, will finally be on display in a new home this holiday season.
The skeleton had been removed from Stanley Field Hall to make room for the museum’s new Titanosaur cast, Maximo, but on Dec. 21, SUE’s new suite will open, debuting a brand new habitat to museum visitors.
The biggest and most complete T. rex skeleton in the world, the skeleton that had been on display had, nevertheless, grown out of date given new scientific understanding of T. rex anatomy. So, since coming down, scientists and museum workers have been updating SUE’s skeleton to match the latest science.
One of those updates will be the addition of a set of bones across SUE’s abdomen called gastralia that helped the T. rex breathe, according to Pete Makovicky, the museum’s curator of dinosaurs.
SUE will now live in the Field Museum’s Griffin Halls of Evolving Planet, in a 5,100 square-foot suite filled with interactive displays that mimic the environment an actual T. rex would have lived in.
Among those displays will be “cutting-edge animations showing how SUE would have interacted with other dinosaurs and what the landscape would have looked like,” said Jaap Hoogstraten, Director of Exhibitions, in a press release.
The move has been in the works for quite some time, said Field Museum president Richard Lariviere, in a press release.
“We’re excited to finally complete our decades-long plan to put SUE in a proper scientific context alongside our other dinosaurs and offer an experience that really shows off why SUE is widely considered the greatest dinosaur fossil in the world,” said Lariviere in a press release.
SUE’s new environment “will give visitors a glimpse of the world SUE lived in,” said Hoogstraten in a press release. The new display will also explain how SUE made it to Chicago.
“People will also get to learn about SUE’s discovery and the things scientists have learned about SUE over the last few decades—there’ll be lots of new information and experiences that we weren’t able to get across with the old display,” said Hoogstraten, in a press release.
“This is the biggest, scariest, and most impressive SUE’s ever looked,” said Lariviere, in a press release.