The world's most famous fossil returns to South Dakota soil. "Sue" the Tyrannosaurus rex will be on display at the Washington Pavilion starting this weekend. And at 67 million years old Sue not only has a long history here in South Dakota, but also a controversial one.
Sue the T-Rex is not the next big thing, but her size certainly makes her special.
"The most complete and best preserved T-Rex ever found, 90% complete, only 10% of her fossilized bones weren't found and that's pretty extraordinary," director of the Kirby Discovery and Science Center, Erica Lacey said.
Sue was found near Faith, South Dakota back in 1990 by paleontologist, Sue Hendrickson, who she's named after After a long legal custody battle over who owned Sue, the fossil was sold for $7.6 million, the highest amount ever paid for a dinosaur fossil.
The real Sue is now housed at the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago, this one is a replica.
"All of the casts have been made off of the actual fossilized bones, so she is very exact and she is life size," Lacey said.
Sue is 42 feet long and 13 feet high at the hips.
Sue is so large, the Washington Pavilion had to make some renovations just to get her inside.
They raised the ceiling to this room by six feet and removed some of the windows to get her ribs inside. And now that Sue is all put together, she's sure to attract visitors of mammoth proportions.
"I know she's standing right over my shoulder and the story goes, she's in a position ready to pounce as if you might be interrupting her meal, so we could get eaten at any time," Lacey said.
There is also a 23 minute film that will be shown at the Pavilion on Sue and her history. She'll be on display starting this weekend til January 5th.