LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — Dino “Sue” — an exact replica of the largest, most complete Tyrannosaurus rex fossil ever unearthed — is Disney’s newest (and oldest) “cast” member in DinoLand U.S.A. at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.
The replica of Sue, which was excavated in the Black Hills of South Dakota in 1990, is on display at the entrance to DINOSAUR, a high-speed thrill attraction that sends guests back to the age of the dinosaurs.
Named after fossil hunter Sue Hendrickson, the 67-million-year-old skeleton is one of the most famous fossils of the century because it adds tremendous information to what little is known about the species.
Some other fossil facts about Dino Sue:
- Scientists estimate Sue was about 45 feet long, stood nearly 14 feet tall and weighed between five and seven tons.
- Chicago’s Field Museum purchased the skeleton at public auction in 1997 with financial support from Walt Disney World Resort, McDonald’s Corporation, the California State University system, and private individuals.
- Following its discovery, paleontologists from The Field Museum began work on preparing the bones for eventual exhibit in Chicago.
- A large part of the bonework was actually done “on-stage” and in front of guests at Disney’s Animal Kingdom by a three-member team from the museum.
DinoLand U.S.A. is presented by McDonald’s.