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Researchers Work To Make South Dakota T-Rex Whole Again

Kayleigh Johnson

About 65 million years ago dinosaurs roamed what is now northwestern South Dakota.

A Tyrannosaurus Rex specimen discovered nearly 30 years ago may have taken its last steps near Mud Butte in Mead County; that’s about 100 miles from Rapid City. The South Dakota School of Mines has some of its bones.

Kayleigh Johnson manages the school’s paleontology lab. She hopes to display the bones they have together as one skeleton.

“It would be really nice to at least reconstruct the skull as best as possible. We do not have the entire skeleton or anything like that. I think, we have maybe a couple ribs, some vertebrae, maybe a couple limb bones but not nearly a complete specimen.”

Johnson says complete skeletons are difficult to get because of the factors involved when the dinosaur died.

Full interview with Kayleigh Johnson on SDPB's In the Moment: