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Where Can I See a Tyrannosaurus Rex Skeleton? Key Museums Around The World

Seeing one of the most ferocious dinosaurs that existed even in any state is ecstatic. One that tops the list is the Tyrannosaurus Rex, which is a famous predator in the dinosaur world that any dinosaur fanatic will want to get a glimpse of.

Where can I see a T Rex skeleton? T Rex skeletons have been displayed in exhibitions and museums worldwide, including Asia, Europe, and North America. Unique T. rex finds like Sue and Stan are displayed in the Field Museum of Chicago and Black Hill City Museum. 

If you are a dinosaur enthusiast, you are most likely curious to see an actual replica or bones of a T Rex. A skeleton can be called a key to the past. It can give you an idea and spark your interest in what the past had to offer when the owners of these skeletons existed. In this article, I will share some information to see an actual T Rex skeleton and how close we get to reconstructing what a T Rex was like.

Where Can You See The Most Complete Tyrannosaurus Rex Skeleton

If you are a dinosaur fan, a researcher, or a paleontologist who wants to see an actual T Rex skeleton, then these are the unique T Rex skeletons that should be on top of your list. Fortunately, they are housed in museums and research institutes you can visit. Here are some of those.

Field Museum in Chicago: The House of The Almost Perfect T Rex Specimen

Sue, the T Rex, is known as specimen FMNH PR 2081. Sue can be considered an almost perfect specimen since it was an excellent discovery to the paleontological community because it was one of the most complete with almost 90% recovery. 

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It stands 40 feet long and 13 feet tall, the largest T Rex specimen unearthed out of the 30 skeletons discovered in different expeditions. No one knows if Sue is a female or male, and it only got its name from Sue Hendrickson, who discovered it in South Dakota in 1990. 

Sue is undoubtedly a valuable find to many researchers since it can help reconstruct and study the T Rex at a different level. Today, Sue is housed in the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago, Illinois, where it is one of the must-sees in the building. 

The museum was the highest bidder during a public auction in 1997. It was prepared for almost 50,000 hours from travel to exhibit before Sue made its debut in the museum in 2000. The actual bones of Sue are on display, but the museum decided to make replicas for other important purposes. 

YouTube Video About Sue, The Most Intact T-Rex Fossil

YouTube video by Jansen Media which gives a great look into the Sue T. Rex exhibition at the Field Museum – AdventureDinosaurs

Being priceless to the scientific community, copies of Sue’s skeleton were created using molds by the researchers of the Field Museum. A dismantled skeleton is included in the museum’s research collection where other researchers can visit and study in detail bones by bones. (Source)

At the same time, a complete skeleton cast was also made and sometimes sent to other parts of the world so that other people could witness the majestic Sue. Until today, Sue is certainly one of the most celebrated T Rex finds. 

Hill City Museum: The Place For the Most Luxurious T Rex Specimen 

Another significant T Rex specimen is Stan, also known as specimen BH 3033, found in South Dakota like Sue in 1992. It was named after its discoverer Stan Sacrison.

Stan is now considered a luxury possession since an unknown bidder bought him in 2020 for a staggering amount of almost 32 million dollars. Before it was auctioned in 2020, Stan was housed in the Black Hills Institute of Geological Research in South Dakota for a long time.

Stan’s original bones were exhibited in the Hills City Museum and were one of the main attractions. A 39-foot-long replica of this creature is on display in the hall of the research institute, while replicas of its bones are on display in museums elsewhere. The Hill City Museum is also known to sell resin cast of Stan to other museums that have been an issue over the years.

With the original bones of Stan sold, scientists and researchers are worried that it might have been lost to science. It is now more expensive than Sue the T rex. Now that Stan is in private hands, the paleontological community is eagerly awaiting its chance to see him again. 

North Carolina Museum: The Den of the Dueling T Rex and Triceratops

A fossil of a fighting T Rex and triceratops was unearthed in 2006 in Garfield County, Montana. It was unearthed in a sedimentary rock that was safely stored and encased in plaster for further study.

The fossil was in the hands of private laboratories or warehouses, and quite a legal battle happened before the North Carolina museum was able to take it in 2020. The museum is together with the city, and other private institutions could win it over in an undisclosed amount. 

The fossil was an exquisite find because it clearly shows the two largest dinosaurs tangled to death in prehistoric times. It will be exhibited in the museum and housed in a newly expanded paleontology lab that will debut in 2022.

The display of the actual bones will allow dinosaur fans to look at them up close and allow other researchers to examine them. Unlike Stan and Sue the T Rex, no available record for casts or reconstructed models is available for the fossil, making the actual specimen more critical for utmost care. 

Recommended Reading

The article you are reading is one of the 17 Series Articles connected to the Ultimate Guide to Tyrannosaurus Rex. Check out the Ultimate Guide or other key Series Articles selected for you at the bottom of the article!

Ultimate Guide to Tyrannosaurus Rex
Main Article – With Links to 17 Series Articles

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❖ Read Now! The Ultimate Guide to Tyrannosaurus Rex

The main article in the series, it is packed with information all about the King of the Dinosaurs. it provides information about the first discovery, some of the latest fossil findings, and covers the anatomy of the dinosaur. Following this, it provides a look at the classification and phylogeny. The places, where T. Rex fossils have been found are described and a few of the key fossil skeletons are described. The master article also covers:

—Interesting facts you may not know about T. Rex
—Unanswered questions about the T. Rex
—Links to the Series Articles (17 in total!) which give deeper info on the dinosaur.

A List of T Rex Exhibitions and Museums Worldwide

One of the prized possessions museums and research institutions have is an actual dinosaur fossil on display. And If anyone talks about a dinosaur, T Rex is surely one that you will think of. So, if you want to marvel at a T Rex skeleton, then here are some of the places that are a must-visit for your next dino fossil sight-seeing.

North America: The Home For Most T Rex Collection

A lot of mounted T Rex skeletons can be seen in North American museum collections. It is a mixture of original bones and replicas in various museums and research institutes. Of course, this is surely the case since most T Rex skeletons are unearthed in places of North America.

The original bones displayed in Europe include Black Beauty, specimen number RTMP 81.6.1, and Stan. The name Black Beauty is inspired by the shiny deep color of the bones and housed in the Royal Tyrrell Museum in Alberta, Canada. It was excavated in 1980 in Alberta by Jeff Baker. Black Beauty’s skull replica can also be seen in the Museum of African Culture as part of the traveling exhibit in the 90s located in Newfield, Maine, United States. 

The original bones of Stan are housed in the Black Hills Museum of Natural History in Hill City, South Dakota. Stan’s replica is displayed in the Dinosaur Discovery Museum in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Another Stan copy is in Houston Museum of Natural Science in Houston, Texas, and Jurica-Suchy Nature Museum in Lisle, Illinois. 

Another copy of Stan is housed in the National Museum of Natural History in Washington, DC, District of Columbia, and New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Four other copies of Stan can be viewed in the Sternberg Museum of Natural History in Kansas, Children’s Museum of Indianapolis in Indiana, Weis Earth Science Museum of Wisconsin, and Wyoming Dinosaur Center.

A mounted skeleton of T rex can be seen in many other United States of America museums, including the original bones of AMNH 5027 displayed in the Museum’s Hall of Saurischian Dinosaurs in the American Museum of Natural History New York, Denver. Other replicas of the same T Rex are showcased in the Colorado Museum of Nature and Science and the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Source)

Jane, a juvenile T Rex specimen with bones, owns the Burpee Museum of Natural History in Rockford. At the same time, two copies of the entire skeleton are distributed in the Carnegie Museum of Natural History in Pittsburgh and the Cleveland Museum of Natural History in Ohio. The T Rex Holotype specimen CM 9380 is also proudly displayed in Carnegie Museum. 

Copy of Sue’s mounted skeleton is available for view in Disney’s Animal Kingdom in Florida. At the same time, other T Rex skeletons like Wyrex, Thomas, Big Mike, Wankel rex, and many others are all over other museums in the US.

Europe: Good Number of T Rex Skeleton You Can Find

There are many T Rex skeletons you can find in Europe; however, only two of these are permanently displayed in Europe, namely Trix and Tristan-Otto. Trix is displayed in the Natural Biodiversity Center in Leiden, Netherlands. It is the oldest known T Rex specimen that lived approximately more than 67 million years. Its name was given after the name of Queen Beatrix. Tristan-Otto’s original skull has been displayed in the Berlin National History Museum since December 2015. (Source)

Other T Rex skeletons in the continent include a replica of Stan displayed in the Manchester Museum in the United Kingdom and another one found in the Natural History Museum of Denmark in Copenhagen. 

Another T rex adds to the list of the pack in Europe, which is a copy of Black beauty exhibited in the Swedish Museum Of Natural History in Stockholm. Most of the T Rex skeletons in Europe are high-grade copies of the original bones except for Tristan-Otto’s skull and Trix.

Asia: Fewer Displays But Not Less Valuable

You can find a T Rex skeleton in Asia despite most of the fossils being recovered outside Asia. Most of the skeletons on display in these Asian museums are high-quality replicas or copies of the actual skeleton. 

Few of these replicas are Stan displayed in the National Museum of Nature and Science in Tokyo, Japan. Also, the Black Beauty replica in the Paleozoological Museum in Beijing, China.

There are still other museums in Asia where dinosaur skeletons are displayed, although you may rarely find a T Rex. It includes another dinosaur skeleton-like in Japan, China, and Taiwan.

Are There Any T Rex Skeletons That We Can’t See? Which Is The Most Accurate Reconstruction of A T Rex That We Have?

The T Rex skeleton and its reconstruction have been done in many museums to see a T Rex closer to it. Aside from the readily viewed T Rex skeleton in museums and exhibitions, a few are hand and eyes off from the public. Most of these are those skeletons that are found in privately owned lands. 

Beyond the Public’s Reach: It is Not Always Finder’s Keepers in Private Lands

The ownership of a T Rex skeleton or any dinosaur remains critical every time one is newly discovered. Usually, the ownership will depend on where you find them. If you excavate fossil remains in privately owned land, they will have the right to own the find. 

Although, you may still be allowed to name them according to the discoverer like Sue and Stan. In simpler terms, where you dig matters most in ownership. 

These fossils are then sold or auctioned to be bought by museums or research institutes for scientific purposes. A law passed in the US congress in 2009 called the Paleontological Resources Preservation Act gives museums a fair right to fossil finds. 

In this law, a qualified scientist must get a permit to excavate in federal lands or public lands, and accredited museums and research institutions will access all dug there. However, this is not the case for T Rex skeletons in private lands.

Some of these excavated T Rex skeletons became a part of interior decoration for scientific exploration. Some private owners can also ask too much of a price that is a limitation for museums.

One of the popular T rex skeletons is Stan displayed in the Hill City Museum, but recently, it was bought by a private individual who might now be hands-off from the public until further notice.

Closest To Reality: The Most Accurate T Rex Reconstruction

Like me, you may have wondered how close to reality these T Rex representations, models, and statutes are. Lucky that there are bones and even an almost complete T Rex skeleton that scientists used to attempt reconstructing T Rex to what it was like. 

According to experts, the most accurate T Rex reconstruction ever made was unveiled in the Field Museum in 2018. Sue is the complete skeleton among the others, and this might be the main reason for the accurate reconstruction.

The reconstruction has bird-like characteristics like feathers put together layer by layer based on the most recent pieces of evidence of T Rex’s findings. (Source)

Contrary to the previous findings that it does not have a feather. It can be possible that T Rex probably had a plumage of feathers like structure in its head and gleaming eyes that can see more colors than we can imagine. T Rex also has lips that can make it less scary than what we see in the movies. 

Many artists have reconstructed T Rex in the past years, but one thing for sure is we have to let go of the Jurassic park version we grew up with because this is one of the most outdated representations of the famous T Rex.

All of these are still continually improved as pieces of evidence are being added. It means that anyone is still entitled to what they want T Rex to look like until we solve the mystery of its looks.

Conclusion

Tyrannosaurus rex is a dinosaur that most of us grew up with, and it is, even more, a fascination to witness the actual bones or reconstructions of this dinosaur with your own eyes. Next time you are up for the thrill to see a T Rex skeleton up close and perhaps take a selfie, do not hesitate to visit these places.

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