Smithsonian Gets First Complete T. Rex

Posted: June 27, 2013

WASHINGTON — The Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History is acquiring its first full Tyrannosaurus rex skeleton for eventual display in a new dinosaur hall planned for the National Mall.

The museum announced Thursday that it reached a 50-year loan agreement with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to display one of the most complete T. rex specimens ever discovered. It's known as the “Wankel T. rex.”

The rare fossil was found in 1988 by rancher Kathy Wankel on federal land near the Fort Peck Reservoir in eastern Montana. Between 1990 and 2011, the fossil was loaned to the Museum of the Rockies in Bozeman, Mont.

The T. rex will be the centerpiece of a new dinosaur hall scheduled to open in 2019. Only a few museums display such nearly complete skeletons.