Chicago (CBS) — SUE, a resident of Chicago’s Field Museum and the most complete T. rex in the world, will have several bones temporarily removed and scanned by scientists next week.
Next Tuesday at 9:30 a.m., Field Museum scientists will remove SUE’s bones that show signs of illness or injury, including bones from the right arm and left leg.
The event is open to the public, and the museum is free all February for Illinois residents.
SUE’s leg became infected when the dinosaur was alive, and the bone became huge and misshapen. SUE’s arm bone has several abnormalities indicating that one of the muscles—the triceps—was torn off the bone in life.
The dinosaur’s humerus and fibula will be taken to the University of Illinois at Chicago where they will be CT scanned.
“The CT scans will let us look inside SUE’s bones and see cellular details that could be clues as to what happened to them,” says Bill Simpson, the head of the museum’s geology collections, who will be supervising the removal of the bones.
The scans will then be shared with a group of researchers at a German museum.
The researchers will also be looking at some of SUE’s tailbones that are fused together by arthritis and not mounted on the skeleton. Those bones are normally kept behind the scenes at the museum.
After being scanned, the arm and leg bone will be put back on SUE’s skeleton next Wednesday, Feb. 20.