Researchers on Tuesday will borrow a few bones from Sue the T. rex to examine them for the sort of injuries and diseases that may have caused toothy and painful winces to flash across the dinosaur’s face millions of years ago.
The bones will include one from the meat eater’s shin scientists think became huge and misshapen due to infection. An arm bone with several abnormalities indicating the triceps muscle was torn off also will be studied.
Field Museum scientists will remove the bones from the famed dinosaur’s skeleton — displayed on the museum’s second floor — and take them to the University of Illinois at Chicago where they will undergo a CT scan, according to a news release issued by the museum.
The effort is part of a study by a group of researchers from Berlin’s Museum für Naturkunde who are trying to figure out what sort of diseases or injuries Sue had.
The museum is free all February to Illinois residents and the public also can view the removal of the bones, slated for Tuesday at 9:30 a.m.
The T. rex gets its name from Sue Hendrickson, a fossil hunter and explorer credited with the dinosaur’s discovery in South Dakota in 1990. Sue has no known gender, but in the years since the Field Museum acquired the fossil for a record-breaking $8.4 million in 1997, experts have learned a lot about T. rex dinosaurs by studying Sue’s bones.