On This Day…

World’s Largest T-Rex Skeleton

August 12, 1990

The world’s largest and most complete Tyrannosaurus Rex skeleton is discovered. A group of archaeologists were preparing to leave after exploring a region in western South Dakota when they discovered they had a flat tire on their vehicle. While most of the group went back to town to repair the truck, Sue Hendrickson stayed behind to explore some nearby cliffs. There she discovered a number of exposed bones. They turned out to be a 67-million-year-old T-Rex. With more than 80% of the skeleton recovered, it was the most complete and largest T-Rex ever discovered.
The skeleton became embroiled in legal issues when the FBI seized it in 1992, claiming it had been illegally taken from federal land. The leader of the group that recovered it, Peter Larson, had negotiated a deal with the landowner prior to removing the T-Rex, however, after the skeleton was sold at auction the owner of land, who originally agreed to $5,000 for the skeleton, received $7.6 million from its auction.
It was named “Sue” after its discoverer and is now on display at Chicago’s Field Museum.