The world’s largest predatory dinosaur, and a Dino Fest to celebrate it, are coming to the Field Museum
Left: A design rendering of the Spinosaurus in its soon-to-be-home. © Field Museum Right: An illustration of Spinosaurus in life, hunting underwater prey. © Davide Bonadonna
This June, the Field Museum will become the only place in the Western hemisphere to see the world’s largest predatory dinosaur. A Spinosaurus cast will be displayed in the museum’s main Stanley Field Hall, suspended twelve feet above the ground in a swimming pose to evoke its reign as a prehistoric river monster.
Spinosaurus was 46 feet long from its crocodile-like snout to the tip of its paddle-like tail (by comparison, SUE the T. rex is 40 feet long, though T. rex was bulkier). These features helped make Spinosaurus a fearsome semi-aquatic predator in the rivers of northern Africa, where it roamed 95 million years ago. In 2022, Field researchers Matteo Fabbri and Jingmai O’Connor even found that Spinosaurus had dense bones, like a hippo or a penguin, that would have helped it submerge itself underwater in pursuit of its fishy prey.
The cast coming to the Field Museum was created in Italy, based off fossils found in the Sahara Desert and housed at the Hassan II University in Casablanca, Morocco. There is one other Spinosaurus cast on permanent display in Japan; the Field Museum’s will be the only Spinosaurus on permanent display anywhere in the Western hemisphere. Since the cast is lightweight compared with real fossil material, we’ll be able to display it hung from the ceiling to greet visitors as they enter the museum, posed mid-swim so museumgoers can gaze up at Spinosaurus like its prey might have 95 million years ago.
To celebrate the new Spinosaurus, the museum is hosting Dino Fest on Saturday, June 10. This event, held in the museum’s main Stanley Field Hall from 11am to 2pm, will feature dinosaur trivia games, a poetry station, a book fair, and presentations from the Field’s dinosaur curator Jingmai O’Connor and paleoartist Ted Rechlin as they share fun facts and explore who would win in a fight between Spinosaurus and T. rex.
Spinosaurus at the Field Museum is part of the Griffin Dinosaur Experience, made possible by generous support from Kenneth C. Griffin.