Kids with Legos, parents vote for new name of Field Museum dinosaur

At a Harold Washington Library Lego Club event Tuesday, kids received blue “I VOTED” stickers after choosing a name on an iPad.

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Children and their parents on Tuesday attended a dinosaur-themed Lego Club event at the Harold Washington Library. They created Lego sculptures and voted to bestow a name upon the Field Museum’s newest dinosaur display. 

Children and their parents on Tuesday attended a dinosaur-themed Lego Club event at the Harold Washington Library. They created Lego sculptures and voted to bestow a name upon the Field Museum’s newest dinosaur display.

Tyler Pasciak LaRiviere/Sun-Times

Amid a colorful sea of Lego bricks, children and their parents on Tuesday attended a dinosaur-themed Lego Club event at the Harold Washington Library, sculpting assorted figures and voting to bestow a name upon the Field Museum’s newest dinosaur display.

The event was a partnership between the museum and Chicago Public Library’s children’s services celebrating the museum’s new exhibition of the world’s largest predatory dinosaur, the Spinosaurus.

The Spinosaurus would be the third dinosaur in the museum with an official name, alongside SUE the T. rex and Máximo the Titanosaur, according to Kate Golembiewski, the museum’s public relations and science communications manager.

The museum’s cast of the Spinosaurus is the only one displayed in the Western hemisphere, Golembiewski said.

Since unveiling the display early last month, the Field Museum has been working to come up with a name for the 95 million-year-old semi-aquatic creature known as a “prehistoric river monster,” according to the museum. Voting opened last week and will close Friday. As of Wednesday morning, about 28,000 votes have been cast.

When attendees entered the Lego Club event, they were met by a table equipped with an iPad to vote for the new dinosaur name. Children and parents alike received a blue “I VOTED” sticker after making their selection.

Attendees chose between three names: Sabah, which is Arabic for swimmer; Sobek, which refers to the Egyptian crocodile-headed god; and Sandy, which highlights the Spinosaurus’ origins in the sandy deserts of North Africa.

Tables with containers full of Legos were set up across the room for children and their parents to build Lego sculptures ranging from dinosaurs and birds to houses and cats.

Sean Kullman attended Lego Club with his two kids Duke Kullman, 7, and Addie Kullman, 5, who both voted for the name Sabah.

Duke said he chose the name because he loves swimming. Sean Kullman said he brought his kids to the event to play with Legos, adding that they all went to the Field Museum as a family last year before the Spinosaurus exhibit.

“They met SUE and hopefully they’ll meet Sabah or whatever his name will be,” Sean Kullman said.

Amanda Parks brought her three kids – Lulu, Nora and Archer – to Lego Club and said they went to the Field Museum last month and saw the Spinosaurus display. All three kids voted for the name Sandy because it’s the name of their paternal grandmother and Lulu’s middle name.

Archer said his favorite dinosaur is the Spinosaurus.

“I just kind of like it,” he said.

Vanessa Wright came with her two sons Miles, 11, and Maceo, 9. Like the Parks family, Miles Wright said he voted for the name Sandy.

“The Spinosaurus looked like it had brown in it, and when I think of brown I think of the sand,” Miles said.

Kashier Walker stumbled upon Lego Club while at the library with her youngest, 1-year-old son Kavius. The two played with Legos together, and Walker said she intended to vote for the name Sobek given its connection to the crocodile-headed god.

“He’s like the father of the crocodiles before they existed,” Walker said of the Spinosaurus.

Voting to name the Spinosaurus remains open online at www.fieldmuseum.org/lets-name-our-new-spinosaurus until Friday. The new name will be announced in early August.

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