WAMU 88.5 : News

Filed Under:

D.C. Will Soon Be Home To Its Very Own Tyrannosaurus Rex

The rare T. rex specimen was previously on display the Museum of the Rockies in Bozeman, Mont.
Museum of the Rockies
The rare T. rex specimen was previously on display the Museum of the Rockies in Bozeman, Mont.

Brace yourself, dinosaur fans. The National Museum of Natural History will soon be home to a nearly-complete skeleton of the iconic Tyrannosaurus Rex.

One of the largest carnivorous land animals ever to exist on earth, the 66 million-year-old specimen weighs 7 tons and is more than 38 feet long. This particular dinosaur is special because more than 85 percent of the bones were recovered intact — a rarity for the iconic species hailing from the late Cretaceous period. Only a handful of such specimens exist in the world.

Nicknamed the "Wankel's Rex" in honor of rancher and amateur fossil hunter Kathy Wankle, who discovered the fossil on federal land in Montana in 1988, this dinosaur had been on display at the Museum of the Rockies in Bozeman, Mont., from 1990 to 2011. It will come as part of a 50-year loan from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

"We are thrilled to welcome this extraordinary T. rex fossil to the Smithsonian," said Kirk Johnson, the Sant Director of the National Museum of Natural History. "With the arrival of the Wankel T. rex, our museum visitors will be able to marvel at one of the finest dinosaur specimens in the world."

The bones will make their way from Montana to D.C. on Oct. 16 of this year. Smithsonian researchers will then get to work scanning each and every bone, before trying to digitally recreate a complete and accurate skeleton, according to the Smithsonian Magazine.

An exhibit is currently planned for the fall of 2016, which will feature parts of the skeleton. Unfortunately for Jurassic Park fans, Wankel's Rex likely won't be displayed in its full glory until 2019, when it will take center stage in the museum's renovated Dinosaur Hall.


'Washington Post' Reporter Explores How Pop Culture Influences Views Of Police

NPR's Kelly McEvers talks to Washington Post reporter Alyssa Rosenberg, who has written a series for the paper about how Hollywood and pop culture has influenced the way the public perceives police.

In 'Appetites,' Bourdain Pleases The Toughest Food Critic (His 9-Year-Old)

Anthony Bourdain's new cookbook features comfort food he cooks for his young daughter. "She's who I need to please, and if she's not happy, I'm not happy," he says.
WAMU 88.5

The Politics Hour - October 28, 2016

Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton joins us as the new series "Good Girls Revolt" based on her early civil rights work debuts.


Qualcomm Spends Big Money To Get In The Car (Chip) Business

The smartphone chipmaker has agreed to buy NXP Semiconductors for $38 billion. The deal allows Qualcomm to rely less on the smartphone industry. NXP makes semiconductors for cars.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.