Keeping up with the museum thanks to SUE!

By Alison Fox
March 19, 2020
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The animals in Chicago’s museums are getting restless. First came the penguins, going for a stroll around the shuttered Shedd Aquarium. And now comes the age of the dinosaur — a costume dinosaur, that is.

The Washington Post/Getty Images

Chicago’s Field Museum sent out its very own dinosaur ambassador, SUE, to check on the museum as it remains closed due to the coronavirus pandemic. They couldn’t let those rockhopper penguins at the nearby Shedd have all the fun, after all.

“Once SUE heard about the @shedd_aquarium penguins, we really didn't have a choice,” the Field Museum wrote in a tweet along with a video of SUE the tyrannosaurus rex waiving to the museum’s own penguin exhibit.

"The Field's Museum's mission to share science with the world is going strong, even though our building is closed for the next few weeks," a spokeswoman told CNN. She added: "If letting an apex predator explore our halls helps drive home that mission, then who are we to say no?"

The human-sized T-Rex isn’t the real SUE, of course. Her fossil skeleton is 40 feet long and 90 percent complete, according to the museum. But this version of SUE is nearly as cool, spending her time without guests hanging out at the information desk and amusing Twitter with her antics.

“We were warned of the theropod uprising. And now they have access to ~i n f o r m a t i o n~,” the Field Museum tweeted in response to the Shedd Aquarium penguins perusing their information desk. Birds, like T-Rex’s, are theropods, which the museum said SUE recently learned, forcing them to tweet an update: “SUE learns birds are avian dinosaurs; demands we update the Museum map to "Hall of B̶i̶r̶d̶s̶ Tiny Theropods.”

For her part, SUE (who has her own Twitter account because, of course) wrote her visit to the penguins — or tiny theropods  — was merely a chance to check in on “my docile army.”

While we can’t go see SUE or her army in person right now, there are plenty of ways to soak up culture from home, including online museum tours and even virtual hikes to bucket-list destinations.