T-Rex Successfully Arrives in D.C., Droves of Visitors Pack Natural History Museum
The 66-million year old bones of a Tyrannosaurus rex from Montana, called the Nation's T. Rex, were successfully transported to the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History today in 16 crates. The crates were moved into the 1,830-square-foot Rex Room and, for the next few months, workers will document, photograph, and assess the conditions of the bones.
Visitors can still go to the exhibit, which opened today, as staffers work on it. Museum spokesman Ryan Lavery says the museum didn't track how many people visited the Rex Room today, but there was a big outreach to get visitors inside and people were walking through "in droves." The Museum of Natural History sees about 8 million visitors each year.
The Nation's T. Rex was discovered in Montana in 1988 and is on loan from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for 50 years. It's one of the largest and most complete T. rex specimens ever discovered, with 80–85 percent of the skeleton recovered, according to a Smithsonian press release.
It will eventually be the centerpiece of the museum’s new 31,000-square-foot dinosaur and fossil hall, which was established in part by a $35 million donation from David H. Koch and is slated to open in 2019. The current dinosaur hall closes April 27.
Photo via Smithsonian.