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Sue's Cranium and Giant Scorpions in the same post!
While visiting the Field Museum in Chicago, my family and I attended Dennis
Kinzig's "Much Ado About Sue" class (geared to 1st to 3rd graders). Kinzig
related something I'd been hoping to hear: the Sue mount at the Field Museum,
slated for unveiling in May, 1999, will be topped by a reconstructed skull,
and the actual fossil skull will be on view separate from the mount. This
way, the mount will be able to incorporate lightweight materials to fabricate
the skull, minimizing the likelihood of Sue toppling (and thus permitting a
more dynamic pose). And, most importantly, the skull will look as it should,
without all the postmortem crushing and distortion. I imagine that the
fabricated skull will more or less follow the contours of the scale model
which Brian Cooley produced for the museum.
This skull model is on view at the Field Museum, along with the model of the
fleshed out head restoration which was featured in the June 1999 _National
Geographic_ article, "A Dinosaur Named Sue." The article itself is actually
up on the web (FREE), and can be accessed via
<www.nationalgeographic.com/dinorama/sue.html>. Click on "Family Xpeditions"
and then click on "Read 'A Dinosaur Named Sue'..." (Look under the
eyeglasses on the Xpeditions site for this phrase). The full text and
several reduced photos are accessible here, but no large photos, and not all
of the photos, so you'll need to buy the magazine anyway.
Regarding big off topic Carboniferous arthropods, the full scale coal forest
diorama in the "Life Through Time" hall of the California Academy of Sciences
in San Francisco features restorations of an outsized scorpion, mayfly,
cockroaches, spider, and the mighty _Arthropleura_. I don't know whether all
of these animals have been recovered from the same fossil locale, but it is
impressive to get a glimpse of the world as it was when "mega-invertebrates"
ruled the land. The hall has a number of superbly crafted dioramas,
including the obligatory Cretaceous period (with a _Deinonychus_ trio).
Although some of these scenes initially featured limited animatronic
movement, mechanical breakdowns have since rendered them immobile. (The
_Deinonychus_ group didn't move anyway).
-- Ralph W. Miller III email@example.com
"T. rex: Back to the Cretaceous, and no dessert until you finish your