News / Science & Technology

Rare T. Rex Leaves Montana, Heads to Smithsonian

FILE - Image shows a bronze cast of the Tyrannosaurus rex skeleton known as the Wankel T.rex, in front of the Museum of the Rockies at Montana State University in Bozeman.
FILE - Image shows a bronze cast of the Tyrannosaurus rex skeleton known as the Wankel T.rex, in front of the Museum of the Rockies at Montana State University in Bozeman.
Reuters
The rare and nearly intact skeleton of a Tyrannosaurus rex that roamed the earth 65 million years ago will set off from Montana on Friday on a cross-country road trip, its first, bound for the Smithsonian Institution in Washington D.C.
 
The fossil of the 38-foot-long carnivore, found on federal lands in Montana in 1988, has played a starring role in scientific research at the Museum of the Rockies in Bozeman since its excavation by paleontologists led by curator Jack Horner.
 
The seven-ton skeleton of a dinosaur, that may have been an opportunistic eater rather than a stone-cold killer, is to be mounted at the Smithsonian Institution in an exhibit that will open in 2019 and is expected to attract eight million visitors a year, Horner said. The dinosaur is on loan to the Smithsonian for 50 years.
 
The so-called Wankel T.rex - named after Kathy Wankel who discovered it - was about 18 years old when it died and is considered second for extensiveness and preservation only to “Sue,” the famed T.rex at The Field Museum in Chicago, he said. Its gender is not known.
 
The loan of the T.rex to the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History is on par with the museum's 1929 acquisition of the priceless Hope diamond, said museum spokesman Randall Kremer. The Smithsonian until now has only displayed a cast of a T.rex but not the real thing, he said.
 
Technology will speed the four-day road trip of the largest carnivorous dinosaur in the United States. Its hundreds of bones are packed in 16 crates installed in a 53-foot-long truck that hauler FedEx emblazoned with T.rex images.
 
FedEx pledges to give the prehistoric creature “the first and best ride of his life” in a truck to be constantly monitored for such factors as barometric pressure, said spokeswoman Parul Bajaj.
 
Horner, adviser for the trio of “Jurassic Park” films, said his research suggests T.rex was a scavenger tied to findings that it had bone-crushing teeth like animals that are not usually apex predators.
 
“But I'm glad they're gone. Otherwise, it would be a dangerous world. The only charming dinosaurs were the ones that didn't eat you,” he said.
 
Hundreds of dinosaur fans will escort the T.rex through downtown Bozeman on its way to the interstate highway as part of a send-off celebration at the Museum of the Rockies.

You May Like

French Refugee Drama Wins Cannes Top Prize

Dheepan is about a group of Sri Lankan refugees who pretend to be a family in order to flee their war-torn country for a housing project in France More

Photogallery Crisis in Macedonia Requires Meaningful and Swift Measures

The international community has called on Macedonian leadership to take concrete measures in support of democracy in order to exit the crisis More

Activists: IS Executes 217 Civilians, Soldiers Near Palmyra

British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights on Sunday said the victims include nurses, women, children and Syrian government fighters More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthroughi
X
May 22, 2015 10:23 AM
Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthrough

Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Europe Follows US Lead in Tackling ‘Conflict Minerals’

Metals mined from conflict zones in places like the Democratic Republic of Congo are often sold by warlords to buy weapons. This week European lawmakers voted to force manufacturers to prove that their supply chains are not inadvertently fueling conflicts and human rights abuses. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Class Tackles Questions of Race, Discrimination

Unrest in some U.S. cities is more than just a trending news item at Ladue Middle School in St. Louis, Missouri. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, it’s a focus of a multicultural studies class engaging students in wide-ranging discussions about racial tensions and police aggression.
Video

Video Mind-Controlled Prosthetics Are Getting Closer

Scientists and engineers are making substantial advances towards the ultimate goal in prosthetics – creation of limbs that can be controlled by the wearer’s mind. Thanks to sophisticated sensors capable of picking up the brain’s signals, an amputee in Iceland is literally bringing us one step closer to that goal. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Economy Sinks As Foreign Troops Depart

As international troops prepare to leave Afghanistan, and many foreign aid groups follow, Afghans are grappling with how the exodus will affect the country's fragile economy. Ayesha Tanzeem reports from the Afghan capital, Kabul.
Video

Video Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriage

The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video South Korea Marks Gwangju Uprising Anniversary

South Korea this week marked the 35th anniversary of a protest that turned deadly. The Gwangju Uprising is credited with starting the country’s democratic revolution after it was violently quelled by South Korea’s former military rulers. But as Jason Strother reports, some observers worry that democracy has recently been eroded.
Video

Video California’s Water System Not Created To Handle Current Drought

The drought in California is moving into its fourth year. While the state's governor is mandating a reduction in urban water use, most of the water used in California is for agriculture. But both city dwellers and farmers are feeling the impact of the drought. Some experts say the state’s water system was not created to handle long periods of drought. Elizabeth Lee reports from Ventura County, an agricultural region just northwest of Los Angeles.
Video

Video How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction

An international team of scientists has sequenced the complete genome of the woolly mammoth. Led by the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm, the work opens the door to recreate the huge herbivore, which last roamed the Earth 4,000 years ago. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble considers the science of de-extinction and its place on the planet
Video

Video Blind Boy Defines His Life with Music

Cole Moran was born blind. He also has cognitive delays and other birth defects. He has to learn everything by ear. Nevertheless, the 12-year-old has had an insatiable love for music since he was born. VOA’s June Soh introduces us to the young phenomenal harmonica player.

VOA Blogs