CHICAGO (CBS) — Move over SUE, there is a bigger dinosaur coming to The Field Museum.
The Field Museum announced Wednesday that SUE is getting a makeover in celebration of the museum’s 125th anniversary and in her place will stand a touchable cast of the biggest dinosaur ever discovered.
Thanks to a $16.5 million gift from the Kenneth C. Griffin Charitable Fund, The Field Museum is receiving a cast of a Patagotitan mayorum, “a giant, long-necked herbivore from Argentina that’s part of a group of dinosaurs called titanosaurs.” This is one of the largest private contributions ever made to a Chicago museum.
“The Field Museum’s never-ending goal is to offer the best possible dinosaur experiences. Ken Griffin’s long-time support is a major step forward in achieving that goal,” said Field Museum President Richard Lariviere, in a statement. “With this extraordinary gift from Ken, we’ll be able to create a more scientifically accurate and engaging home for SUE the T. rex and welcome the world’s largest dinosaur to the Field.”
The new dinosaur cast stretches 122-feet long, from snout to tail. (And to help imagine how long that is – it’s longer than two accordion CTA buses end-to-end.) The dinosaur is also so tall, that when guest stand on the museum’s second floor, they will be eye-to-eye with the giant.
The cast of a Patagotitan mayorum will stand in the museum’s Stanley Field Hall. Visitors will be able to touch the cast and walk underneath it.
It is the only Patagotitan in the world that visitors are able to touch and only the second to ever be on display, according to the museum release.
And as for SUE the T. rex?
She will receive scientific updates and be moved to a permanent exhibition in the museum – The Griffin Halls of Evolving Planet. The entire space is being updated and is expected “to feature cutting-edge multimedia technology, digital interactives, and fossils discovered alongside SUE that illustrate the world she lived in—all in all,” said Senior Exhibitions Project Manager Hilary Hansen.
“At 40.5 feet long, she’s the world’s biggest T. rex, but in that giant hall, people sometimes remark that she’s smaller than they expected,” explains Hansen. “By putting her in her own gallery in our Evolving Planet exhibition, she’ll be put into the proper context of her fellow dinosaurs, and she’ll dominate the room.”
SUE will be moved in February 2018 and will be unveiled in her new space in spring 2019, after she receives her updates, based on the scientific discoveries made since she has been on display.
The cast of a Patagotitan mayorum will be up in spring 2018 with expected viewing by late spring.
When asked to comment on her upcoming move and renovation, SUE wrote in a statement, “For years now, I’ve been pitching this to the Museum. A room with a better defensible position against velociraptor attacks and reduced exposure to possible meteorite collisions. Finally, the mammals in charge have come to their senses.”