EDITORIAL: No bones about it, Sue the dinosaur is the real deal

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Not to look a gift dinosaur in the mouth, but the new one coming to town is plastic.

Say what you will about Sue, the Tyrannosaurus rex skeleton at the Field Museum that’s about to get bumped by a much bigger dinosaur, she’s the real deal — the actual fossil bones of a fierce prehistoric beast. She is as authentic as her fangs are long.

EDITORIAL

The massive plant-eater that will take Sue’s place in the museum’s main hall as early as February is only a cast. Let’s make no bones about it: There are no bones.

The great power of Sue is that the bones you see are the bones that walked the Earth some 65 million years ago in what is today South Dakota. There is no artifice, no barrier to reality. Sue is really Sue.

We’re sure that this new dinosaur, cast from the fossil bones of Patagotitan mayorum — a giant, long-necked herbivore discovered in Argentina in 2014 — will be warmly welcomed, even by us. Chicago loves its dinosaurs, and we’ll be able to walk underneath this one, even touch it. Kids will touch a femur or a tail bone and instantly decide to become paleontologists. No harm in that.

The new dinosaur — this thing needs a pet name — also will better fill Stanley Field Hall, an enormous space that dwarfed even Sue. The hall begged for a bigger tenant.

But in creating more spectacle, authenticity will be diminished.

So excuse us, then, if when we visit the Field Museum early next year we bypass the main hall and shoot upstairs to visit Sue in her new home, a room of her own.

Send letters to: letters@suntimes.com.


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