'Nation's T. Rex' Arrives At Smithsonian | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

WAMU 88.5 : News

Filed Under:

'Nation's T. Rex' Arrives At Smithsonian

Play associated audio
Unveiling the "Nation's T. Rex" at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History. Left to right: museum director Kirk Johnson, Kathy and Tom Wankel, who discovered the fossils, and Lt. Gen. Thomas Bostick, of the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers, posing with the dinosaur's right femur.
Jacob Fenston/WAMU
Unveiling the "Nation's T. Rex" at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History. Left to right: museum director Kirk Johnson, Kathy and Tom Wankel, who discovered the fossils, and Lt. Gen. Thomas Bostick, of the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers, posing with the dinosaur's right femur.

The Smithsonian Museum of Natural History has a new resident: A five-ton Tyrannosaurus Rex that just arrived from Montana.

For 66 million years, the T. Rex was buried near a river bed in eastern Montana. Then in 1988, Kathy Wankel and her family were on a hike when they stumbled across something sticking out of the rock and dirt.

"It was whitish grey and it had chips coming off of it, just like if you had found a chicken bone, kind of half buried," Wankel said.

It was a T. Rex arm bone, and one of the best dinosaur finds ever. The T. Rex skeleton is 85 percent complete, among the top five T. Rexes ever discovered. The dinosaur was named in Wankle's honor, but today it was rechristened "the Nation's T. Rex."

The T. Rex arrived from it's previous home in Montana in a giant FedEx truck. Inside the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History, the dinosaur, which has been dead for some 66 million years, got a hearty welcome from the crowd, and museum director Kirk Johnson.

"We're unveiling MOR 555, also known as the Wankle Rex, also known as the Nation's T. Rex," Johnson said.

Now begins the months-long process of unpacking, cataloguing, and scanning each of the 220 bones.

Museum visitors can observe that process, starting today. The entire skeleton will go on display in 2019, after a museum renovation.

WAMU 88.5

Art Beat With Lauren Landau, May 5, 2015

You can celebrate Cinco de Mayo a little late with a chamber concert or see a comedy by a local playwright.

NPR

'Bourbon Empire' Reveals The Smoke And Mirrors Of American Whiskey

A new book suggests that tall tales on craft bourbon labels are the rule rather than the exception. They're just one example of a slew of "carefully cultivated myths" created by the bourbon industry.
NPR

Can Huckabee Overcome The 'New Car Smell' Of Other Candidates?

This isn't Mike Huckabee's first time at the GOP presidential rodeo. He had the advantages of being a novelty upstart underdog in 2008. That's not the case this time around.
NPR

As Emoji Spread Beyond Texts, Many Remain [Confounded Face] [Interrobang]

There's a growing tendency to bring the tiny hieroglyphs off of phones, but not everyone is fluent. New takes on emoji integration suggest misunderstanding may be remedied with universal translation.

Leave a Comment

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