Press Release

August 13, 2023Events & Announcements

The name of an crocodile-headed ancient Egyptian god narrowly edged out competition

Inflatable Sobek the Spinosaurus, and the Sobek fossil cast, at the Field Museum.

After a two-week public vote, the new Spinosaurus at the Field Museum has a name: Sobek.

Sobek is the name of an ancient Egyptian god with the head of a crocodile, proposed because river-dwelling Spinosaurus had crocodile-like jaws and was first discovered in Egypt. The name was a favorite among voters out of three finalists selected by an internal staff vote.

More than 31,000 votes were cast in the naming contest, with 44 percent going to Sobek, and 42 percent going to the second-place suggestion, Sandy. Sabah, Arabic for swimmer, trailed behind with 14 percent of the vote.

The Field will be welcoming Sobek to Chicago in true Windy City fashion: a day aboard Shoreline Sightseeing’s architecture river tour and water taxi. Since the 46-foot-long fossil cast is too big to take on the boat, Sobek will be represented with an inflatable costume, akin to the inflatable SUE that’s become a favorite on the museum’s social media.

Members of the public (and the media) are welcome to join Sobek on a trip along the Chicago River, where they can pose for photo opps with Sobek and chat with the museum’s dinosaur curator, Jingmai O’Connor. Sobek will be on the 10:30 architecture river tour on Thursday the 17th, and will be riding the water taxi in the Loop and between Navy Pier and the Museum campus that afternoon. If you’d like to join, tickets are available for purchase at Shoreline Sightseeing’s website.

To find out where else Sobek may turn up, follow the Field Museum’s social media channels at @fieldmuseum.