A donation from Illinois’ richest man, Ken Griffin, will see the largest dinosaur ever discovered come to The Field Museum‘s main hall in Chicago.
The dinosaur – called a titanosaur – will stretch 122 feet from snout to tail. Visitors will be able to touch it since it is a cast made from fossil bones.
Senior Exhibitions Project Manager at The Field Museum, Hilary Hansen, said: “The titanosaur is huge, and it’ll look right at home in Stanley Field Hall. It’s a big, majestic space, which will be the perfect backdrop for the world’s largest dinosaur.”
The cast will be the only Patagotitan in the world that visitors can touch and the second to ever be on display.
SUE, the popular T-Rex at the museum, will also be on the move. The dinosaur will be moved out of Stanley Field Hall and into a new gallery of her own.
Hansen explained:“At 40.5 feet long, she’s the world’s biggest T. rex, but in that giant hall, people sometimes remark that she’s smaller than they expected. By putting her in her own gallery in our Evolving Planet exhibition, she’ll be put into the proper context of her fellow dinosaurs, and she’ll dominate the room.
Associate Curator of Dinosaurs, Pete Makovicky, said: “In addition to getting a new space that showcases what an amazing specimen SUE is, we’ll also be able to update the mount to reflect what we’ve learned about tyrannosaurs in the years since we first put her on display. It gives us a chance to tell a more complete story scientifically.”
The dinosaur shuffle has been made possible thanks to one of the largest private contributions ever made to a Chicago museum. A $16.5 million gift was given to the museum from Griffin’s charitable fund.
Griffin also has donated $12 million to an ongoing project in the Chicago Park District. That project aims to separate the Lakefront Trail path into walking and biking segments.