The 65-million-year old Wankel Tyrannosaurus rex fossil left The Museum of the Rockies on the afternoon of Friday, April 11, bound for The Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C., where it is expected to attract more visitors than any other T. rex fossil in the world!
This rare fossil was found in 1988 by Kathy Wankel, a rancher from Angela, MT, on federal land near the Fort Peck Reservoir in eastern Montana. The T. rex was excavated in 1989-90 by a team led by paleontologist Jack Horner. The skeleton is one of the most complete T. rex specimens ever discovered, with 80-85% of the skeleton recovered.
The skeleton will be the centerpiece of a new paleontology exhibit scheduled to open in 2019 in the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History. It's predicted that at least 7 million people a year will view the Wankel T. rex. The fossil left Bozeman for good last Friday in a customized FedEx truck, complete with a T. rex image and the slogan, "Delivering History: the Nation's T.rex."