3D Model: Tyrannosaurus Rex

SUE is the largest and most complete Tyrannosaurus rex skeleton ever found. Find out more about what we can learn from an animal's life by looking at their fossils by interacting with the model on this page. Answers to the questions and further resources can be found below.

Walking on two legs is very hard to do. Have you ever watched a baby learn to walk? It takes a lot of practice and several falls to become an expert! Scientists believe Tyrannosaurus rex used its tail for balance. Having a heavy, muscular tail would have balanced out the weight of the head and helped prevent T. rex from tipping over. The pain and swelling in SUE's tail bones may have made it difficult to fully engage or use the muscles in their tail, which could have affected SUE's balance. 

SUE lived with armored herbivores like Triceratops, Ankylosaurus, and Pachycephalosaurus. They all used their armored body parts to protect themselves from predators like SUE and other T. rex

While scientists aren't exactly sure how long it took dinosaur bones to heal, research shows that dinosaurs like SUE were able to heal extreme breaks that would have been fatal to humans.

Scientists have long debated how T. rex used its arms. One idea is that they helped T. rex hold onto prey or push themselves up if they were lying down. Some scientists believe these tiny arms are vestigial, or no longer helpful due to natural selection. New evidence has some scientists believing T. rex arms could have been excellent slashing weapons. Research happens all the time, and new information may change how we think about how T. rex moved and behaved.
Learn more about how Field Museum scientists studied SUE's arms.

Just look at the city around you! Pigeons as well as some other birds can get the parasite Trichomonas gallinae. It's a contagious parasite that spreads around bird communities. Similar to what we see in SUE's jaw, this disease affects birds' mouths, sometimes causing them to starve to death.

Investigate More

You've learned about parts of SUE's life by looking at bones. Continue to explore and see what other questions you can ask about SUE's life!