12 things you didn’t know about 'A T. rex named Sue'
The most complete Tyrannosaurus rex skeleton ever discovered is returning to Gainesville Jan. 24-Sept. 13. But even if you caught Sue during her last visit to the Florida Museum of Natural History, here are a few things you might not know about this 67-million-year-old visitor.
1. Don’t let her name fool you: Sue’s gender is still unknown. She is named for Susan “Sue” Hendrickson, who discovered the remains when her SUV broke down near Faith, South Dakota.
2. Injuries to her bones indicate that Sue most likely died after being attacked by another T. rex.
3. Sue is 42 feet long and 12 feet high at the hips. Her skull weighs 600 pounds.
4. At 90 percent complete and exquisitely preserved, Sue is the most celebrated member of the species.
5. It took six fossil hunters 17 days to get Sue out of the ground, and 10 preparators spent two years cleaning and repairing her bones.
6. A T. rex skeleton is made up of more than 250 bones. Sue was found with most of those bones, missing only a foot, one arm, and a few ribs and vertebrae.
7. Only two complete T. rex forelimbs have ever been found – and Sue’s is one of them.
8. Sue’s 58 razor-sharp teeth were continually shed and regrown during her lifetime.
9. While it’s not appropriate to mention’s a lady’s age, we don’t think Sue would mind our telling you that scientists determined she was 28 years old when she died 67 million years ago. That’s old for a T. rex: They typically lived no more than 30 years.
10. As long as we’re sharing personal information, Sue’s estimated weight when alive was more than seven tons.
11. Sue travels in 40 crates and is assembled for each exhibit. Four of those crates weigh more than a ton each. The crates travel in three huge trucks. (Sue’s tail is in truck No. 2.)
12. The closest forklift strong enough to move Sue’s crates will arrive from Jacksonville.