CHICAGO (CBS) — Sue, the Field Museum’s famous Tyrannosaurus Rex, isn’t exactly becoming the first dinosaur astronaut, but at least a few microscopic parts of her are going into orbit.
WBBM Newsradio’s Regine Schlesinger reports scientists at the University of California Davis have been collecting microbes for Project Mercury, and will send them to the International Space Station on Sunday for experiment on the effects of space on bacteria.
Field Museum paleontologist William Simpson said the researchers asked for bacteria from Sue.
“They’ve been collecting from various sort of national icons to make it more fun,” he said.
So he got to work collecting microbes from Sue, the 42-foot T-Rex fossil, which is the largest, best-preserved, and most complete Tyrannosaurus Rex skeleton ever found.
“I took a couple of sterile swabs, and we sampled several different spots on Sue and sent them in,” Simpson said. “Indeed, they did have bacteria on them. Bacteria are on every surface on the planet.”
The microbes on Sue are the type found in fertilizer, acquired long after Sue roamed the Earth.