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SUE the T. rex will go off display for a year as part of a Field Museum makeover

Written by
Kris Vire

SUE, the Field Museum’s prize T. rex skeleton and de facto mascot, will disappear from view for a year or more starting in February 2018 before moving into a new home upstairs amid the other dinosaurs in the Kenneth and Anne Griffin Halls of "Evolving Planet."

The move makes way for a new star in the museum’s grand white marble concourse, Stanley Field Hall. A touchable cast of Patagotitan mayorum, a 122-foot long herbivore from a group of dinos called titanosaurs, will take SUE’s current place. The titanosaur arrives as part of a $16.5 million gift from Citadel CEO Ken Griffin, the wealthiest person in Illinois; the Field describes it as one of the largest private contributions ever to a Chicago museum.

SUE will come down in February, and the titanosaur cast will go up within a month. Some of the titanosaur’s real bones, including an eight-foot-long thigh bone, will be on display alongside the touchable replica.

SUE will make her debut in "Evolving Planet" in the spring of 2019 after some sprucing up, including the addition of her gastralia—a set of bones across the T. rex torso that are so rarely preserved in tyrannosaurs, according to Pete Makovicky, the museum’s associate curator of dinosaurs, that scientists weren’t sure how to position them when SUE was mounted in Stanley Field Hall in 2000. SUE will get her own new gallery within "Evolving Planet," with updated displays, interactive elements and other scientific information.

SUE is taking the news in stride this morning on her Twitter account, keeping up her usual barrage of Game of Thrones jokes and D&D references.

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