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T-Rex at the Smithsonian
"Now for decades, one of the world's great museums has felt just a little inadequate, the Smithsonian in Washington DC didn't have in its collection. A tyrannosaurus Rex the most famous dinosaur all known literally as the tyrant lizard, king. Well, now it has after quite a journey his North America. Correspondent James Glen die. In the newly renovated Donoso hole at the Smithsonian national museum of natural history on Washington DC's famous mall. One sixty six million year old spaceman reigns. Supreme t Rick skeleton is dramatically poised to take the head of a hapless triceratops. This particular animal is found in nineteen eighty eight and it was found by Montana rancher was on a picnic with her family, and she saw just a little bit of the editor arm-bone sticking out. It was a bone of the T Rex that never been found before. That's cooked Johnson, the museum's director and chatting Knicks to the skeletons teeth H, one is about the size of a banana. Can you be a full blown top of the line American natural history museum without a T Rex? Well, that is something I think is not possible. When I joined this museum as director, we didn't have it to your accent. I wasn't the first person to the point that out, but it was something that I didn't want to open this exhibit that having to your ex here because this is the national museum. Mm, t Rex was first discovered early last century. It was once native to North America and vindicates now, the Smithsonian has been desperate to get its hands on one there's two ways to get a T Rex can buy one or you can find one. That's the bottom line, which I did the museum. Well, we spent a fair amount of money looking for one because actually cheaper to find them into by them. Find them into game out. It's not it's not inexpensive. But it'd be better to find your own. And we looked and looked looked, and we found pieces and parts. But when you looking for something as rare as a complete T Rex chances, you actually will find a relatively small, but buying one of the city, also substantially complete T, Rex's is complicated to sue a beautifully preserved lodge. Reynoso is still known by museum staff is the one that got away at an auction that exceeded all expectations in New York in nineteen Ninety-seven bidding started at half a million US dollars. The hammer dropped at seven point six million with commission on top Chicago's field. Museum was the. Lineup and his house, sue since but many paleontologists believe they have been the losers. Is it all Sam kneels felt that'll drastic pox fault? What happened that generally was because if you think about the discovery of shoe happened before Jurassic perk and the sale of sue happened after Jurassic Park, and that was an amazingly, beautiful fossil the skull was in one piece, and it was an exquisite thing when it went to auction. There were many many museums had dreams. What's your personal views about benefit these things to be found on public lands? They along to the nation. Well, United States is the only nation in the world that has dinosaurs, and where it is legal to sell dinosaurs. He other big Dennis are producing nations. And there's like six or seven of them own the dinosaurs the nations in the United States on private land. If there's a dinosaur to private land owner owns Dennis with the increase in the value of dinosaurs. Launched by the su- sale act. Actually has made it more difficult for professional intelligence museums to access private lands because dinosaurs are now money. They didn't used to be money. So this sunny changed tack slightly, and found a third way of getting a T Rex by working with another arm of the federal government, which already funds, most of the museum's costs and the land on, which this dinosaur was found is US army corps of engineers, because it's a reservoir managed by the army corps of the people do all the engineering and they had to Rex's from their property. Both of them were out there with the Rockies Montana. So we didn't want to take Montana's only directs the once they had to both the museum of the Rockies and the US army corps of engineers green benefit to promoting Montana, and the army corps of engineers in Washington DC, the specimen has now been dumped. The nation's t Rex Matthew Khurana is the museum's curator of Donna, Soria. It's important to us. I think that we call it the nation's T-rex because we really. We want people to feel like its they're controversial because there are the big ones, you know what, what what's going to think about that? One of the other new you can play t Rex's around. You know, our T Rex is not a T Rex of sutra Nakata's. It is. But, but our T Rex is not a T Rex of superlatives. It's not the oldest or the biggest or the youngest or the longest, but it has unique position of being everybody's T-rex thanks to the museum's -cation and the number of American tourists, we make a pilgrimage to Washington DC cook, Johnson believes the specimen could ultimately become the most visited horrendous Soros Rick's in the world. I've had T-rex described as a gateway drug. Can you explain that for kids? I actually think I coined that phrase. I think I did of kids really caught on. It's it really the ideas that kids love dinosaurs at a very early age. It gets them excited to go to Zia. Gms gets the meeting, scientists it gets them thinking about how fossils are found right now. We're hiring. The next generation of scientists, and many of the paleontologist, tell me look, I it was drastic parked to did it for me when I was a kid. So I'm seeing that generation come through now and there are a lot of them and every year we're finding something like fifty or sixty new species of dinosaurs, unknown to science, I opened a dentist or exhibit nineteen ninety-five and since then the number of known dinosaurs globally has more than doubled. So there's still lots of amazing stuff out there. Get out in the backyard and get digging. That was our North America. Correspondent James Glenda reporting.