Friday, January 15, 2010

Sue the T Rex visits Minnesota

Sue the T Rex recently made a visit to central Minnesota. The Stearns County Historical Society hosted the dinosaur. Though the exhibit (in St. Cloud--central Minnesota) was quite a distance from us--we have to go very near it when we bring my mother back from my home in Southeastern Minnesota. When she returned home after the Christmas holiday, we were able to sneak a visit at the end of her stay.

Sue was discovered in Western South Dakota on a private landowner's land who was part Sioux who lived within the bounds of the Cheyenne River Sioux Reservation. After her discovery, there was an extensive legal battle over her. After five years, the skeleton was placed in trust for the landowner. Eventually the government put her up for sale for the rancher and was placed on the auction block at Sotheby's. In eight short minutes, Fields Museum had the highest bid with $8.4 million. The traveling Sue is a cast of her skeleton. There is also a touchable cast that goes with the traveling exhibit. At 42 feet in length, she is thirteen feet high (The Fields Museum website states that she is both 12 and 13 feet high.) Sue may in fact be a male--but was named after the dinosaur's discoverer.

The museum has allowed both researchers and visitors to see her. It was exciting to see her, but there were some interactive exhibits that allowed visitors to experience the sight that different species of dinosaurs may view Sue in. It was difficult for my kids to see with the eyepieces set at angles that are simply not compatible with human beings. The sight enabled the others to better watch for their predators.

We also went through the rest of the County Historical Society. It was interesting to see the industrial history and the mock quarry that explains the rock that has been so crucial to the area's economic development. The granite that has been used in buildings throughout the United States.

This wedding cake is on display as well. Made for Max and Veronica Mock of Avon, they were unable to eat it because grandparents became ill. Though they intended to eat it shortly afterward, it was never consumed. On their 25th Wedding anniversary, it was encased in glass. The frosting was tan--I am unsure if this is because the icing turned color or if it was made this way. The cake was baked on October 25, 1932. EWWWWW GROSS! I am left wondering how it survived without the preservatives that we use today. Makes me think that snacks may not need as many as are put in. It looked like the museum may have some promising exhibits coming up--we will be keeping an eye out.

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