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.
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The Smithsonian Associates presents “The Wankel T. rex Is Coming!” Wednesday, Oct. 16, at 7:15 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 “Wankel T. rex.”
Only a few nearly complete T. rex skeletons are on display anywhere in the world, and the Wankel 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 $18 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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