CHICAGO — Chicago’s Field Museum will soon be home to a touchable cast of the biggest dinosaur ever discovered, and the museum’s star attraction, a T. rex named Sue, will be moved to her own gallery.
The new dinosaur that was discovered in 2014 is a cast made from the fossil bones of Patagotitan mayorum a giant, long-necked herbivore from Argentina. It’s part of a group of dinosaurs called titanosaurs.
The dinosaur will replace Sue in the museum’s Stanley Field Hall. Visitors will be able to touch the cast and walk underneath it.
“We have this tremendous hall that sort of dwarfs everything, even Sue,” said Peter Makovicky, the museum’s associate curator of dinosaurs. “You pretty much have two options: You either get a blue whale or you get the biggest dinosaur in the world.”
Sue will be dismantled in February and revamped with scientific updates before being placed in her new exhibit. The dinosaur made her debut in 2000 after being purchased for $8.36 million in 1997.
“It’s a radical change that people will initially have a strong reaction to, and I think that’s good,” said Jaap Hoogstraten, the museum’s director of exhibits.
The new dinosaur and Sue are expected to be unveiled in 2018 in celebration of the museum’s 125th anniversary.
“We constantly battle this image that we’re sort of a dusty old place stuffed with animal hides, and we have to constantly innovate and stay ahead of the curve,” Makovicky said. “Having this anniversary come up and undertaking these visceral changes that the visitor will recognize immediately will help with that.”