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

Pundits Split Over Long-Term US Role in Afghanistan

Security pact remains condition for American presence beyond 2014; deadline criticized More

US Eyes Islamic State Threat

Officials warn that IS could pose a threat to US homeland More

Video Ukraine: Captured Troops Proof of Russian Role in Separatist Fight

Moscow says Russian troops crossed into Ukrainian territory by mistake More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Scientists Unlock Mystery of Bird Flocksi
X
George Putic
August 25, 2014 4:00 PM
How can flocks of birds, schools of fish or herds of antelope suddenly change direction -- all the individuals adjusting their movement in concert, at seemingly the same time? British researchers now have some insights into this behavior, which has puzzled scientists for a long time. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Scientists Unlock Mystery of Bird Flocks

How can flocks of birds, schools of fish or herds of antelope suddenly change direction -- all the individuals adjusting their movement in concert, at seemingly the same time? British researchers now have some insights into this behavior, which has puzzled scientists for a long time. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Ukraine: Captured Troops Proof of Russian Role in Separatist Fight

Ukrainian officials say they have captured Russian soldiers on Ukrainian territory -- the latest accusation of Moscow's involvement in the conflict in eastern Ukraine. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the Ukrainian side of the battle, where soldiers are convinced of Russia's role.
Video

Video Rubber May Soon Come From Dandelions

Synthetic rubber has been around for more than a century, but quality tires for cars, trucks and aircraft still need up to 40 percent or more natural rubber content. As the source of natural rubber, the rubber tree, is prone to disease and can be affected by bad weather. So scientists are looking for replacements. And as VOA’s George Putic reports, they may have found one in a ubiquitous weed.
Video

Video Jewish Life in Argentina Reflected in Yiddish Tango

Jewish people from across Europe and Russia have been immigrating to Argentina for hundreds of years. They brought with them dance music that were eventually mixed with Argentine tango. The result is Yiddish tango -- a fusion of melodies and cultural experiences that is still evolving today. Elizabeth Lee reports from the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles, where one band is bringing Yiddish tango to an American audience.
Video

Video Peace Returns to Ferguson as Community Tries to Heal

Thousands of people nationwide are expected to attend funeral services Monday in the U.S. Midwestern city of St. Louis, Missouri, for Michael Brown, the unarmed African-American teenager who was fatally shot by a white police officer August 9 in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson. The shooting touched off days of violent demonstrations there, resulting in more than 100 arrests. VOA's Chris Simkins reports from Ferguson where the community is trying to move on after weeks of racial tension.
Video

Video Meeting in Minsk May Hinge on Putin Story

The presidents of Russia and Ukraine are expected to meet face-to-face Tuesday in Minsk, along with European leaders, for talks on the situation in Ukraine. Political analysts say the much welcomed dialogue could help bring an end to months of deadly clashes between pro-Russia separatists and Ukrainian forces in the country's southeast. But much depends on the actions of one man, Russian President Vladimir Putin. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
Video

Video Artists Shun Russia's Profanity Law

Russia in July enacted a law threatening fines for publicly displayed profanity in media, films, literature, music and theater. The restriction, the toughest since the Soviet era, aims to protect the Russian language and culture and has been welcomed by those who say cursing is getting out of control. But many artists reject the move as a patronizing and ineffective act of censorship in line with a string of conservative morality laws. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
Video

Video British Fighters on Frontline of ISIS Information War

Security services are racing to identify the Islamic State militant who beheaded U.S. journalist James Foley in Syria. The murderer spoke English on camera with a British accent. It’s estimated that several hundred British citizens are fighting for the Islamic State, also called ISIL or ISIS, alongside thousands of other foreign jihadists. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from the center of the investigation in London.

AppleAndroid