Tyrannosaurus rex Dinosaur is 40 feet in length and weighing more than five tons; hence, it is one of the largest and more recognizable carnivores ever to walk on land. In 1988, Kathy Wankel, a rancher from Angela, Montana, discovered T. rex fossils on federal land by Fort Peck Reservoir in eastern Montana.
The National Museum of Natural History made an announced, which fulfilled its’ 50-year loan agreement with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to transfer a Tyrannosaurus rex skeleton to the Smithsonian for an eventual display in the museum’s new dinosaur exhibition in Prehistoric Hall, opening 2019.
This Montana skeleton is the most complete T. rex specimen ever discovered, 85 percent of the skeleton plus a complete skull. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers were designated owners, due to recovery on federal lands; therefore, the Army has loaned it from the “Museum of the Rockies” in Bozeman, Montana to D.C.
“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.
“We wish to extend our sincere appreciation to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Museum of the Rockies, the State of Montana and the Wankel family for all they have done to make this possible. 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.”
Only a rare few nearly complete skeletons of T. rex are displayed anywhere in the world, and the Wankel T. rex is the most studied among them. As the most complete and preserved specimen, it will sanction new research, which plans are made to be a centerpiece in the future dinosaur exhibition in the new hall.
“For more than 200 years, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has served the American people as stewards of our abundant natural resources,” said Brig. Gen. Anthony Funkhouser.
“We are excited to be a part of this partnership to bring such a remarkable T. rex specimen to our nation’s capital for millions of people to enjoy and for Smithsonian scientists to study.”
The Smithsonian will begin to build a new hall for prehistoric life in the National Museum of Natural History and will be the largest renovation in this museum’s history. The new hall will feature specimen collections of 46 million fossils from the museum’s latest scientific research in paleobiology.