Fossil skeleton of a Tyrannosaurus rex
King of the dinosaurs
No other dinosaur has quite the notoriety of the Tyrannosaurus rex. The species gained widespread popularity in 1905, when a New York Times article hailed it as 'the king of all kings in the domain of animal life,' and the 'absolute warlord of the earth.' The so-called 'tyrant lizard' has been a star ever since, regularly appearing in film, TV, literature, and—for some of us—nightmares.
Today's date is significant in the history of tyrannosaur scholarship, because it was on August 12, 1990, that one of the largest, best-preserved, and most complete T-rex skeletons was discovered. It's known as Sue, named after paleontologist Sue Hendrickson, who discovered it in the Badlands of South Dakota while a tire of her truck was being fixed. 'Sue' was auctioned off for $8 million and is now on display at the Field Museum in Chicago, where anyone can come in for a close encounter. Rawwr!