Delivery of Tyrannosaurus Rex for Smithsonian Dinosaur Hall Postponed

Friday, Oct 4, 2013  |  Updated 8:49 PM EDT
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Smithsonian T. Rex Victim of Furlough

Ethan Miller/Getty Images

A 65-million-year-old Tyrannosaurus rex skeleton is another victim of the government shutdown.

The skeleton was scheduled to be delivered to the Smithsonian’s Museum of Natural History this month, but that delivery is on hold until sometime next year.

The museum’s director said this is just the latest casualty. Most of the museum’s almost 500 employees are all out of work due to the shutdown.

The massive fossil is one of the most complete T. rex skeletons ever recovered.

The museum reached a 50-year loan agreement with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to display the skeleton known as "Wankel T. rex."

The fossil was found in 1988 by rancher Kathy Wankel on federal land near the Fort Peck Reservoir in eastern Montana. Between 1990 and 2011, the fossil was loaned to the Museum of the Rockies in Bozeman, Mont.

The dinosaur hall is scheduled to open in 2019. Only a few museums display such nearly complete skeletons, most notably in New York City, Pittsburgh, Los Angeles and Chicago. But the Smithsonian has long wanted a T. Rex of its own for the natural history museum, which draws more than 7 million visitors each year.

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