NATIONAL NEWS

Field Museum debuts Spinosaurus exhibit featuring largest predatory dinosaur

Jun 2, 2023, 1:18 PM

The 46 foot long cast of a Spinosaurus suspended high above the Field Museum's main hall after its ...

The 46 foot long cast of a Spinosaurus suspended high above the Field Museum's main hall after its unveiling, June 2, 2023, Chicago. The cast is about 60 percent of a skeleton, the most complete specimen of the species. (AP Photo/Teresa Crawford)
Credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS

(AP Photo/Teresa Crawford)

CHICAGO (AP) — The newest addition to the Field Museum on Chicago’s lakefront will give visitors a glimpse of the largest predatory dinosaur yet discovered via a 46-foot (14.02 meter) cast of a Spinosaurus skeleton suspended high above the museum’s main hall.

Field Museum officials unveiled the cast with its distinctive fin and crocodile-like jaws on Friday. It will be available for visitors starting Saturday.

Scientists have long struggled to interpret Spinosaurus fossils to determine the animal’s behavior in life, uncertain whether it swam while hunting or simply waded into water in search of prey. Field Museum researcher Matteo Fabbri said the cast is about 60% of a skeleton, the most complete specimen of the species.

“Spinosaurus is a very weird animal,” Fabbri said. “The proportions of the entire body are incredibly weird in comparison to any other dinosaur. The tail is extremely long, the legs are incredibly short, and the skull reminds (us) of the ones we find in modern crocodiles.”

Fabbri is among a team of researchers who in March published an article concluding that the density of Spinosaurus fossils means they likely did go underwater to hunt. The team compared fossils with other dinosaurs, extinct marine reptiles and living animals including seals and whales — knowing that animals that swim underwater for food have bones that are nearly solid compared to those that remain on land.

The exhibit team at the Field decided to display the Spinosaurus cast with that finding in mind, said Ben Miller, Field Museum exhibition developer.

“We decided to put Spinosaurus in a swimming pose because that’s how it would have spent most of its life,” Miller said. “This is a semiaquatic animal. It would have lived kind of like a crocodile, kind of hanging around in rivers, catching fish.”

According to the museum, a team of artists in Italy created the cast based on fossils found in northern Africa’s Sahara Desert where the Spinosaurus lived nearly 100 million years ago. The original fossils are kept at the Hassan II University of Casablanca in Morocco.

The only other cast of a Spinosaurus is on display in Japan.

The Field Museum’s Spinosaurus cast joins a cast of the plant-eating Titanosaur in its’ main hall, dubbed “Máximo” and already a popular exhibit. That cast measures 122 feet (37.19 meters) across and stands 28 feet tall (8.53 meters) and represents the largest of all dinosaurs researchers have discovered.

National News

Associated Press

US investigating some Jeep and Ram vehicles after getting complaints of abrupt engine stalling

DETROIT (AP) — U.S. auto safety regulators are investigating complaints that some Ram pickup trucks and Jeep Wagoneer SUVs can lose power, shift into park and apply the emergency brake. The probe announced Monday by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration covers about 150,000 vehicles made by Stellantis from the 2022 model year. All have […]

31 minutes ago

Associated Press

US-Russian journalist convicted in a rapid, secret trial, court records show

A Russian court has convicted Alsu Kurmasheva, a Russian-American journalist for the U.S. government-funded Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, of spreading false information about the Russian army and sentenced her to 6½ years in prison after a secret trial, court records and officials said Monday. The conviction in the city of Kazan came on Friday, the […]

55 minutes ago

FILE - A Delta Air Lines jet leaves the gate, Friday, July 19, 2024, at Logan International Airport...

Associated Press

Air travel delays continue, though most airlines have recovered from global tech outage

Delays at some airports continue after a faulty software update caused havoc worldwide and led to the grounding by almost all airlines of a number of flights, but the impact is receding. Total cancellations within, into or out of the U.S. earlyl Monday totaled 758, according to the latest data from FlightAware, which is greater […]

2 hours ago

Associated Press

2024 Election Latest: Harris vows to ‘earn and win’ party nomination after Biden drops out

President Joe Biden dropped out of the 2024 race for the White House on Sunday, ending his bid for reelection following a disastrous debate with Donald Trump that raised doubts about his fitness for office just four months before the election. Meanwhile, Vice President Kamala Harris is being thrust into the most scrutinizing of spotlights, […]

2 hours ago

Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Michael Regan speaks to employees in Washington, Thur...

Associated Press

EPA awards $4.3 billion to fund projects in 30 states to reduce climate pollution

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Environmental Protection Agency is awarding $4.3 billion in grants to fund projects in 30 states to reduce climate pollution. The money will go to 25 projects targeting greenhouse gas emissions from transportation, electric power, commercial and residential buildings, industry, agriculture and waste and materials management. The grants are paid for by […]

5 hours ago

Associated Press

Stock market today: Asian shares fall after Wall St ends worst week; Biden withdraw from 2024 race

Asian stocks were mostly lower Monday after President Joe Biden exited the 2024 race. The downbeat start to the week followed losses Friday on Wall Street as businesses around the world scrambled to contain disruptions from a massive technology outage. U.S. futures were little changed and oil prices rose. Biden announced his withdrawal from the […]

9 hours ago

Field Museum debuts Spinosaurus exhibit featuring largest predatory dinosaur