Sue the T. rex intrigues at Durham Museum -
Published Sunday, May 26, 2013 at 12:30 am / Updated at 12:26 am
Sue the T. rex intrigues at Durham Museum

Click here to see footage of Sue at the Durham Museum.

For more photos of Sue's skeleton, click here.

Piggyback riders and folks on walkers turned out Saturday to see a replica of a beast that tromped the Earth 67 million years ago.

Kaleb Lewis, 7, and his dad appeared equally awed by the replica of Sue, the most complete Tyrannosaurus rex fossil ever found. She will stand — actually, she leans, which is the posture now believed to have been common for T. rex — at the Durham Museum through Sept. 8.

“Um, if he was walking around, I think he would probably take your head off in one tight bite,” said Kaleb, of Omaha.

His father, Andrew Lewis, has loved dinosaurs ever since he was Kaleb's age.

“It's still interesting,” the father said.

Sue was found in South Dakota 23 years ago by a fossil hunter named Sue Hendrickson (thus the fossil's name). The Field Museum in Chicago won a bidding war for the fossil and created fiberglass and steel replicas for traveling exhibits, including this one.

The notion that such a creature once existed on this planet sparks the imagination of children and adults.

“Look at that dinosaur,” said 3-year-old Hannah Bierbaum of Council Bluffs.

“I know. I see it,” said her mother, Amy Bierbaum. “Should we go over there?”

Soon Hannah was on her father's shoulders. From there, Hannah noticed that the dinosaur's foot was bigger than Hannah's body.

Annie Christensen, 77, came into the display room pushing her walker. She stopped, clicked off some photos of the T. rex with her cellphone and moved in for a closer look.

“I have company in town, so I brought them down to see it,” Christensen said of the museum exhibit.

In addition to Sue, various stations convey information about the T. rex, including how she was found, how she ate (she grabbed and gulped) and how scientists' understanding of the creature has changed over time.

Among the many questions remaining about Sue and the T. rex are what was Sue's gender, why did Sue die and why did the T. rex die out.

Robin Cox and her kids, visiting Omaha from Missouri, hoped to go to the Henry Doorly Zoo & Aquarium on Saturday, but the morning was gray and rainy. Daughter ReBekka, 12, found a pamphlet at their hotel that mentioned the opening of the Sue exhibit, and that's where they went.

ReBekka said she was impressed by “how big she (Sue) was, how powerful she was.”

“How short her arms were,” interjected ReBekka's brother, 10-year-old Matthew.

Andrew Lewis and his son, Kaleb, intended to continue their dinosaur weekend at home. They planned to watch “Jurassic Park.”

Contact the writer: 402-444-1123,

Contact the writer: Rick Ruggles    |   402-444-1123    |  

Rick covers health and medicine. He also occasionally covers cops, breaking news and events around town.

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