T. Rex Has Just Days Left in Portland, Oregon; Weathermen Gathering There
(Portland, Oregon) – A massive dinosaur will soon be leaving OMSI in Portland, and the science attraction has scheduled a huge gathering of meteorologists there in January.
The 66-million-year-old Tyrannosaurus rex skeleton known as SamsonSM*, which is one of the three most complete Tyrannosaurus rex specimens in existence, will be saying goodbye to the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI) on January 2, 2011. Samson made its world-wide museum debut at OMSI in December 2009 and it’s not currently scheduled for another public exhibition. OMSI visitors can sign an oversized farewell card to Samson located near the exhibit in OMSI’s Earth Science Hall.
Samson’s impressive 39-foot-long fossil features close to 60 percent of its original bones and is close in weight and length to the T. rex known as Sue, long considered the largest, most complete T. rex yet discovered. Samson was discovered in South Dakota in 1987 and is one of three tyrannosaurs unearthed with more than 50 percent of their skeletal bones remaining.
Samson has arguably the most intact skull in existence as most other specimens were discovered with their skulls crushed over geologic time. Differences in the proportions of Samson’s skull as well as in tooth counts have led some researchers to conclude that it may represent a new, as of yet unnamed, species.
In life, Samson measured approximately 40 ft. in length and could have looked into a second story window. Its massive skull and powerful serrated teeth could have bitten through the leg bone of any of its peers. Most likely a very skilled hunter with binocular color vision and an extremely sensitive sense of smell, this colossus, like other adults of the species, lived as an apex predator of the late Cretaceous Period.
The Samson specimen was sold to a private buyer in 2009 through Bonhams & Butterfields Natural History Department and has been on loan to OMSI through support from local sponsors Comcast, the Science Channel, and Discovery Education. See www.omsi.edu/samson
If the old axiom of “everyone talks about the weather, but nobody does anything about it” may actually ever be incorrect, this might be the time. OMSI is hosting a meeting of people who may be able to do something about the weather, even if it’s just mostly alerting people to what’s coming.
On January 20, the Oregon Chapter of the American Meteorological Society (AMS) will meet there to discuss the tornado that struck Aumsville, Oregon December 14, in a setting that is free and open to the general public.
Retired meteorologist, author, and weather historian George Miller will offer insight into historical Oregon tornados. Meteorologists Tyree Wilde and Jonathan Wolfe from the Portland office of the National Weather Service will give a detailed technical presentation on what atmospheric conditions came together in order to create the Aumsville tornado, rated a level of “EF2” on the Enhanced Fujita Scale that classifies tornados into six categories based on severity and potential damage.
OMSI is located at 1945 SE Water Avenue, Portland, OR 97214. For general information, call 503.797.4000 or visit www.omsi.edu.