Go see Sue (now until Apr. 12)

January 29, 2009

A new exhibit recently opened at the Saint Louis Science Center, and it’s getting a lot of media attention. I usually steer clear of events that can be found on billboards, but in this case I have a bit of personal interest in the attraction, a cast of a T. rex skeleton that was discovered in South Dakota, not too far from my hometown in North Dakota. Sheer serendipity, in the form of a flat tire, led researchers to the fossil’s discovery in 1990, just a year after I graduated from high school.  Naturally, at the time we all heard a lot about the fossilized skeleton and the dispute over its ownership.

Eventually, everything was settled and the fossils were put on display at Chicago’s Field Museum in 2000.  The display in St. Louis is a cast of the original — though that doesn’t make its sheer scale any less impressive!  Length: 42 feet.  Height: 12 feet (at the hips). Length of skull: 5 feet. Size of brain: Equivalent to about a quart of milk.  So what filled Sue’s head? Fifty-eight teeth, for one thing, ranging in size from 7 1/2 to 12 inches.  (To read more about Sue and his/her history, check out The Field Museum’s homepage.)

The special exhibit charges admission of $6 for adults and $5 for kids/seniors (members pay $3), but St. Louis Kids magazine has a coupon that will get adults in for $1 off the regular price.  As you may know, if you’re as cheap as I am, parking on the north side of the Science Center is free, as is admission to the center itself.  Sue’s likeness is on display in the Exploradome from now until April 12, along with displays about his/her life 67 million years ago, a digging area and a dino craft. For details on opening times, visit the Science Center’s homepage.

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