SNEED: Paleontologist Sue, who found Sue the T. rex, dishes on move
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How about it?
What do you think about your world-famous T. rex namesake moving from center stage at The Field Museum, exiting her space for a bigger dinosaur called a Titanosaur — a plant eater discovered in South America in 2014?
“Sue isn’t jealous,” chirped noted paleontologist Sue Hendrickson, who discovered the most complete T. rex skeleton while rummaging around dino country in South Dakota decades ago with a group of fossil hunters — and her beloved golden retriever, Gypsy.
“She is still the best T-rex!!!!” Hendrickson e-mailed Sneed shortly after I sent her a link announcing Chicago billionaire Kenneth Griffin was marking The Field Museum’s 125th anniversary next year by paying $16.5 million for a new 122-foot dinosaur — three times the length of the museum’s star attraction, the ferocious “Sue.”
“The big one that’s coming in is JUST a plant eater,” quipped Hendrickson.
“Not a carnivore like Sue!
“No big cutting teeth like the T. rex. No gore. No blood. Not scary,” she quipped.
“I am hoping it is not a demotion,” Henrickson added. “Sue deserves her own display case.
“Sue was always too small for Stanley Hall. Even the elephants stood taller than she. It’s nice they will remount her. I know no one at the museum anymore, but I assume they won’t play her down. That they are just making room for another really giant dinosaur.”
“Like the Field needs more dinos!”
• Upshot: “Sue” will be moved out of the museum’s main hall and into a new exhibit being constructed just for her to enhance what has made her scarily magic. Found in the Black Hills of South Dakota in 1990, Sue became part of a massive court fight until The Field Museum won her at auction for $8.36 million in 1997.
• Sure shot: The new Titanosaur may be taking over Sue’s front hall space, but the famous T. rex will undergo special changes: her actual “wishbone” is not on display — but in the museum’s collection … and her gastralia — a set of belly ribs now displayed in a case — will join the skeleton.
“Back when they first got Sue, they planned a new exhibit space for her, and I hope they do it right this time,” said Hendrickson, a huge animal advocate and rescuer who spends much of her time at her animal clinic in Honduras
“In Stanley Hall, they totally lost the impact of seeing Sue’s ferocious head first because they could enter her at any angle,” she said. “A better space will allow them to exhibit her more dramatically.
“It also makes me laugh they will finally put in the gastralia. Stomach ribs,” she said. “We told them they were there. Suggested they mount them … and now they finally will . . . ahhh … bureaucracy. But better late than never.
“It should be a good thing that they move her,” she said. “Sure hope so anyway.”
“By the way, Mike,” said Hendrickson.
“Should I hit up Ken Griffin to fund my animal clinic in Honduras????”
Hello, Ken . . .
A McCarthy memo . . .
Former Chicago top cop Garry McCarthy, who has been eyeing a mayoral bid against his nemesis, Rahm Emanuel — who fired him — was spotted consulting with top Dem political strategist Joe Trippi at
the Erie Cafe last Monday night.
“Garry is not only being urged to run for mayor, but his backers urged him to consult with Trippi before he makes up his mind,” said a top McCarthy source.
“And the money men are beginning to line up,” he said.
Trippi, a seasoned political analyst who has signed on as chief strategist for Ald. Ameya Pawar’s gubernatorial bid, was a political adviser to Dem presidential hopefuls Ted Kennedy and Walter Mondale, among others.