SUE: The T. Rex Experience to Roar Into the Saint Louis Science Center

This summer, families can meet Sue, the most complete, best-preserved Tyrannosaurus rex ever found, in the Lou! The Saint Louis Science Center will welcome SUE: The T. rex Experience beginning June 8. The special exhibition features the latest scientific discoveries about the species as a whole as well as an immersive, sensory exploration of life in the Cretaceous period.

“Because SUE was discovered in such great condition and as a nearly complete specimen, scientists have been able to learn so much about dinosaurs and the lives they lived from this fossil,” Kaylia Eskew said. “SUE: The T. rex Experience displays the latest discoveries of what’s known about Tyrannosaurus rex — the composition of their bodies, the foods they ate, the way they moved, the sounds they made, how they aged, and more. The Science Center is honored to host this special exhibition so that our guests can immerse themselves in the wonder of SUE’s life.”

Through this traveling exhibition that is presented in English and Spanish, guests can explore the sights, sounds and smells from SUE’s world and get up close with an exact replica of the original SUE skeleton, which measures 40 feet from snout to tail and 13 feet tall at the hip, permanently on display at the Field Museum in Chicago.

Observers will note that this updated cast includes repositioned shoulder blades and arms and added gastralia (belly ribs). Scientists weren’t sure of the true positioning for these items when SUE was first revealed in the 1990s but have been able to more accurately place them through extensive examination of the fossil and additional research. Other full-scale displays present a T. rex battling one of its favorite prey, the duck-billed herbivore Edmontonosaurus, and a skeleton of T. rex’s biggest enemy, the Triceratops.

“Guests will use all of their senses to bring dinosaurs to life during SUE: The T. rex Experience,” Eskew notes. “In addition to viewing life-sized specimens, interactive stations will give guests a chance to smell prehistoric plants and the T. rex’s rancid breath, hear the rumblings of the T. rex’s mighty roar and feel the texture of SUE’s bones and dinosaur skin.”

To present a deeper look into prehistoric life among the landscape where SUE was discovered, the exhibition features:

  • Murals and a life-sized reproduction of the Hell Creek excavation site to understand how SUE was uncovered.
  • A narrated, multimedia light show highlighting key aspects of SUE’s skeleton.
  • Realistic animated videos depicting life in South Dakota during the Cretaceous period.
  • Updates on scientific research discovered through ongoing examination of SUE and other fossils.
  • Interactive games and quizzes.

Beyond the special exhibition, guests can visit the Science Center’s Earth Sciences gallery to:

  • Hear the infamous roar of our beloved T. rex that has stood tall since the museum’s opening in 1991.
  • Observe real fossils collected by Science Center volunteers in the Dana Brown Fossil Prep Lab.
  • Examine fossils and other objects found throughout Missouri and Illinois.
  • Search for prehistoric treasures in our kid-friendly Dig Site.

While admission to the Science Center is free, tickets are required for SUE: The T. rex Experience. Tickets for this special exhibition will go on sale May 8, 2024, at slsc.org/SUE or through the Science Center box office. Tickets are $12 for adults (ages 13-59); $8 for children (ages 5-12), those ages 60 or older and military personnel; and $6 for current or new Science Center members. Children 4 and under are free but must obtain a ticket to enter the exhibition.

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