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T.rex terrific for Taranaki!

T.rex terrific for Taranaki!

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News Release: Puke Ariki

21 July 2008

T.rex terrific for Taranaki!

If you like scary monsters then Puke Ariki has a mammoth treat for you! Probably the most terrifying dinosaur in the world is being unveiled at the end of this month when a 3.6 metre (12 feet) tall, 12.8 metre (42 feet) long Tyrannosuarus rex, named Sue, creeps into the exhibition gallery for display to the public from 26 July until early November.

Discovered in 1990 by commercial fossil hunter Sue Hendrickson in North Dakota, USA, Sue is the world’s largest, most complete and best preserved skeleton of one of the most feared carnivores that roamed North America over 67 million years ago.

“We are very proud to be the first in New Zealand, and the Southern Hemisphere, to exhibit this astonishing cast skeleton. It’s been great working with colleagues from the world-class Field Museum in Chicago where Sue resides,” says Bill Macnaught, Manager of Puke Ariki.

Major sponsor and Foundation Partner of Puke Ariki, Port Taranaki, has handled the unloading of the Sue exhibition. “It’s a huge dinosaur!” says Port CEO, Roy Weaver. “Sue’s skull measures 1.5 metres (5 feet) in length with a gigantic jaw and phenomenally sharp teeth! If Sue bit you there would be no escape!”

As the most complete T.rex specimen ever discovered, Sue has tremendous value for scientists and the general public. Previously, only a handful of partial T.rex skeletons had been found, none more than 60% complete. At 90% complete and exquisitely preserved, Sue is the most celebrated representative of its species, permitting more detailed studies of the biology, growth and behavior of T.rex than had previously been possible.

Bill Macnaught can’t get over the sheer size of Sue. “It took six 40 foot containers to bring it to New Zealand so we’re delighted at the support we’ve had from our partner, Port Taranaki. Fortunately, Sue is now just a skeleton so it is safe to go and see her, but anyone with any imagination will experience an adrenaline rush! Kids will love this exhibition, but it might be a bit frightening for the grown-ups!” he laughs.

A T.Rex Named Sue 26 July – 2 November 2008

Main Exhibitions Gallery,

North Wing, Puke Ariki, New Plymouth

Entry: $10 for non-Puke Ariki cardholders. Children under 16 free.


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