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Smithsonian Claims Full T-Rex Skeleton
June 27, 2013

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T-Rex is coming to the Smithsonian, complete.

The National Museum of Natural History, a part of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C., will have a full Tyrannosaurus rex skeleton on display in a new dinosaur hall in 2019. The museum expects a sharp upturn in attendance, already at more than 7 million visitors a year.

The skeleton, known as the "Wankel T. rex," was found by Kathy Wankel near the Fort Peck Reservoir in Montana in 1988. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers claimed the skeleton and then loaned it to the nearby Museum of the Rockies, in Bozeman, Mont. That museum displayed the skeleton until 2011.

A display showing a complete T-rex skeleton is uncommon. Museums in Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, and Pittsburgh have such displays.

The new dinosaur hall is part of the largest renovation in the hsitory of the Museum of Natural History. The existing dinosaur hall will remain open until spring 2014 and then close for the renovations.

The Smithsonian plans a temporary exhibition, elsewhere in the museum, to showcase the T-rex environment in the years leading up to the opening of the dinosaur hall. The skeleton itself will be displayed in the new hall for at least 50 years, under the terms of the long-term loan approved by the Army Corps of Engineers.

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