Blogs & Videos: Dinosaurs

Fossil skeleton of SUE the T. rex

SUE Lends a Hand: Field Museum Scientists Remove T. rex’s Arm for Argonne Study

Two Field Museum scientists are leaving their labs and going face-to-face with SUE, the biggest Tyrannosaurus rex ever discovered, armed only with a wrench. And they’re going to take her arm off. SUE’s not just the world’s biggest T. rex—she’s also the best-preserved and most complete one. And that means that she contains a treasure trove of information for paleontologists to learn from.

Photo of dinosaur skeleton

How well do you know SUE?

The towering Tyrannosaurus rex that greets visitors at The Field Museum is hard to miss. But how well do you really know SUE? To celebrate SUE’s Unearth Day on August 12, the date she was discovered, we’re brushing up on some essential facts: Who is SUE? Even though we refer to SUE as a “she,” it is unknown whether this T. rex was female or male. We know that this carnivorous dinosaur lived about 67 million years ago and probably weighed nine tons during its life.

An artist's rendering of a small dinosaur being chased through a field by two larger dinosaurs, while two other small dinosaurs run away in the background.

Newly-discovered dinosaur had “T. rex arms” that evolved independently

Scientists still aren’t sure why T. rex had those absurdly small forelimbs, but apparently the look was all the rage in the Late Cretaceous. A newly-discovered dinosaur from Patagonia has similar short, two-fingered claws, even though it’s not closely related to the tyrannosaurs.

Zoomed in photo of a fly-like insect trapped in orange amber

Revisiting “Jurassic Park”: Could dinosaurs really be cloned?

“Where do you get 100-million-year-old dinosaur blood?” asks Dr. Ellie Sattler, a character in the original “Jurassic Park” movie. In the film, dinosaurs are cloned from DNA preserved in amber. More specifically, from dinosaur blood inside mosquitoes that are trapped in the amber. Spoiler alert: things get a little out of hand as the cloned dinos wreak havoc on Isla Nublar.

Sue's Microbes go to Space

The citizen science project, called Project MERCURRI, is designed to compare microbes from different environments on Earth both to each other and to those found on the International Space Station.  All together, 48 microbial species were selected to blast into orbit aboard the SpaceX Falcon 9 shuttle to the International Space Station for research later this month.

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