News Releases

The Smithsonian Associates Presents “The Nation’s T. rex Is Coming…Look Out!”

March 12, 2014

The Smithsonian Associates presents “The Nation’s T. rex Is Coming…Look Out!” Thursday, April 17, at 6:45 p.m. in Baird Auditorium at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History. Rancher Kathy Wankel; paleontologist Jack Horner; curator of Dinosauria, Matthew Carrano; and the Sant Director of the National Museum of Natural History, Kirk Johnson, will discuss the discovery of one of the most complete Tyrannosaurus rex skeletons ever found. The T. rex specimen will be transferred from Montana to the Smithsonian for eventual display in the Natural History Museum’s new dinosaur hall, scheduled to open in 2019.

Wankel found the rare fossil in 1988 while hiking near the Fort Peck Reservoir in Montana and brought the bones to the Museum of the Rockies in Bozeman, Mont., for identification. Her discovery turned out to be the arm bones of a T. rex, remains so rare that Horner, the Museum of the Rockies’ curator of paleontology—and technical advisor to the Jurassic Park movie series—led a team to excavate the site. The dig yielded a nearly complete skeleton now known as the “Nation’s T. rex.”

Only a few nearly complete T. rex skeletons are on display anywhere in the world, and the Nation’s T. rex’s completeness—80 to 85 percent of the skeleton, including the skull—and high quality of preservation offer exciting research possibilities. Participants at The Smithsonian Associates’ presentation will have the opportunity to view some of the bones.

Ticket prices for the program are $25 for general admission and $20 for Associate members. For tickets and information, the public may call (202) 633-3030 or visit www.smithsonianassociates.org.

The Smithsonian Associates offers life-enriching, educational and cultural experiences inspired by the Smithsonian’s exhibitions, collections and research. Each year The Smithsonian Associates creates and presents more than 750 individual programs that deliver exceptional opportunities for learning and growth. Programs range from lectures on a multitude of topics to the performing arts for audiences of all ages, in the Washington, D.C., area and across the country.

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SI-117-2014

Media only        
Lauren Lyons       
(202) 633-8614 
lyonsl@si.edu                        

Media website     
www.smithsonianassociates.org

Wankel T. rex
Related photos: 

Wankel T. rex

Credit: Photo courtesy Museum of the Rockies

The Wankel T.rex is prepared for exhibit in its original “death pose” at Montana State University’s Museum of the Rockies, Bozeman, Mont., 2005. The Wankel T.rex died in a riverbed more than 65 million years ago and was discovered by Kathy Wankel, a Montana rancher, near the Fort Peck Reservoir in Eastern Montana in 1988.

Related photos: 

Wankel T. rex

Credit: Photo courtesy of U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

Brigadier General Anthony Funkhouser and Sant Director Kirk Johnson sign an agreement to loan the Wankel T. rex to the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of Natural History for a period of 50 years.

Related photos: 

Wankel T. rex

Credit: Photo courtesy Museum of the Rockies

Kathy Wankel, with Marsh picks, and her husband, Tom, immediate right, pose with the Museum of the Rockies field crew, from left, Patrick Leiggi, Jack Horner, Matt Smith and Bob Harmon, with casts of the T.rex arm bones she found that lead to the discovery of the Wankel T.rex near Fort Peck Reservoir in Eastern Montana.

Related photos: 

Wankel T. rex

Credit: Photo courtesy Museum of the Rockies

Jack Horner, Curator of Paleontology at Museum of the Rockies, provides scale for Tyrannosaurus rex fossils at excavation site near the Fort Peck Reservoir, Fort Peck, Mont., June 1990. Named for its discoverer, Kathy Wankel, the Wankel T.rex is estimated to have weighed six to seven tons.

Related photos: 

Wankel T. rex

Credit: Photo courtesy Museum of the Rockies

Graduate student Scott Sampson, foreground, describes skeletal structures of exposed Wankel T.rex fossils for visitors and U.S. Army Corps of Engineer officials at the excavation site near Fort Peck, Mont., June, 1990. The specimen was found on Federal land under the jurisdiction of the Corps and is the property of the U.S. Government.

Related photos: 

Wankel T. rex

Credit: Photo courtesy Museum of the Rockies

A bronze cast of the Tyrannosaurus rex skeleton known as the Wankel T.rex was installed in front of the Museum of the Rockies at Montana State University in Bozeman, Montana in 2001. The actual fossil specimens are being loaned by the U.S.

Related photos: 

Wankel T. rex

Credit: Photo courtesy Museum of the Rockies

A close-up of the skull of the Tyrannosaurus rex skeleton known as the Wankel T.rex which was installed in front of the Museum of the Rockies at Montana State University in Bozeman, Montana in 2001. The actual fossil specimens are being loaned by the U.S.



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