This "rex files" episode introduces you to the Tyrannosaurus rex "SUE", named for Susan Hendrickson, who first discovered SUE's bones eroding out of South Dakota's Hell Creek Badlands. More properly called the "Tyrant Queen" rather than the "King" (as rex is properly translated) the study of SUE's skeleton indicates that she was female and a long lived matriarch as well.
From the moment her excavation was announced in August of 1990 by the Black Hills Institute of Geological Research, Inc., SUE became an instant, worldwide, media celebrity. As the most complete skeleton of Tyrannosaurus rex ever collected, literally thousands of people, including internationally known scientists, photographers and reporters, came to the Institute to see and study her skeleton as it was painstakingly prepared by Institute technicians.
"The rest of the story" tells how SUE became the centerpiece of a protracted legal battle. In May 1992, SUE's entire skeleton was seized by the Acting U.S. Attorney for the District of South Dakota and spent the next five years locked in storage while courts decided her fate. In October 1997, her skeleton was sold at auction by Sotheby's Auction House in New York City, to The Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago, Illinois. SUE now has a permanent home where young and old may learn from her for generations to come.