The Tyrannosaurus rex is enshrined in pop culture and, well, natural history as one of the most fearsome beasts to ever walk the earth.

So it’s no small thing to say you’ve seen the most terrifying member of the most terrifying species.

Next week, the Durham Museum opens its newest exhibit, “Tyrannosaurs: Meet the Family,” which explores the unique T. rex characteristics and showcases the dinosaurs’ newly revised family tree. The centerpiece of the exhibit is “Scotty,” a replica skeleton of a beast scientists are calling the largest T. rex ever discovered.

“Now, seeing the cast in place, I think it’s astonishing to see that something that large once roamed freely around the Earth,” said Jessica Brummer, spokeswoman for the Durham.

The fossilized Scotty skeleton, named after the celebratory scotch paleontologists drank after finding the bones, was first discovered in Saskatchewan, Canada, in the 1990s. Earlier this year, in a paper published in The Anatomical Record, scientists declared the dinosaur had a higher body mass than all other known T. rex specimens.

The living animal weighed an estimated 19,555 pounds, far heavier than today’s male African elephants, which top the scale at about 14,000 pounds, according to the New York Times. The dinosaur lived during the Cretaceous Period, about 65 million years ago.

Scotty is also the longest-lived T. rex specimen ever found: The animal that left the fossils died when it was about 30, enduring injuries and illness. Evidence of an infected jaw, broken ribs and bite marks were all found on the skeleton.

The dinosaur was so massive that Durham staff can’t exhibit the replica skeleton in the usual gallery space, Brummer said. The bones, which are articulated in a crouched position and measure about 15 feet tall, are on display in an area that’s usually used as a staging room.

“That area has really tall ceilings, so he sits in kind of his own space in that room, because he’s so stinking big,” Brummer said.

In addition to the Scotty display, the museum exhibit includes more than 10 life-sized dinosaur specimens, hands-on games and multimedia experiences, including one that features dinosaurs running through the streets of Omaha.

The museum is also hosting a lineup of dinosaur-themed programming for the duration of the exhibit. To reserve a spot, contact the museum at 402-444-5071 or email


Various skulls from the tyrannosaur species are on display in the “Tyrannosaurs: Meet the Family” exhibit at The Durham Museum in Omaha. The exhibit, on display June 8 through Sept. 1, 2019, features “Scotty,” a replica skeleton of a Tyrannosaurus Rex discovered in Canada in the 1990s. The skeleton recently was recognized the largest T. Rex specimen ever discovered.

Tyrannosaurs at Two

2 p.m. every day, June 8 through Sept. 1

Every afternoon throughout the run of the exhibit, museum staff will present on a different dinosaur topic.

Fossil Fridays

Every Friday, June 14 through Aug. 9

The museum will have crafts, giveaways, raffles, guided tours and games every Friday.

Rise of the Tyrants: A Family-Focused Presentation

10:30 a.m. June 15 in the Stanley and Dorothy Truhlsen Lecture Hall

Lindsay Zanno, head of paleontology at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences, discusses how tyrannosaurs developed and explores her team’s discovery of a tiny tyrannosaur in what is now Utah. Reservations required.

Fearsome Continent: New Discoveries Reveal the Lost Cretaceous Worlds of North America

1 p.m. June 15 in the Stanley and Dorothy Truhlsen Lecture Hall

Zanno discusses her latest finds and the struggle for survival that dinosaurs faced at the beginning of the Late Cretaceous. Reservations required.

Storytime With Scotty

10:30 a.m. every Wednesday, June 12 through July 31

Each week, kids can hear a different dinosaur-themed book read by museum staff.

Dinos and Daiquiris

6 to 9 p.m. June 27

Adults 21 and over can visit the exhibit and hunt for “fossils” hidden around the museum. Admission is $20 for nonmembers and $10 for members. Ticket price includes one drink ticket. Purchase tickets in advance by calling 402-444-5071 or visiting

Back-to-School Bash

5 to 9 p.m. Aug. 9

The museum will show the movie “We’re Back! A Dinosaur’s Story” on a big screen. There will also be a bounce house, face painting and a food truck. Reservations required.

This complete guide of local music, movies, dining and entertainment will have you weekend ready

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