Tyrannosaurus Sue: The Extraordinary Saga of the Largest, Most Fought Over T-Rex Ever Found

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9781501288517: Tyrannosaurus Sue: The Extraordinary Saga of the Largest, Most Fought Over T-Rex Ever Found

In 1990, Peter Larson, with his team of commercial fossil hunters from the Black Hills Institute, discovered the most complete Tyrannosaurus Rex specimen in history. He dubbed it "Sue" after the field paleontologist who first saw it sticking out of a sandstone cliff on the ranch of Maurice Williams, a Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe member in South Dakota's badlands. Because the skelton was 90% complete, its study promised to yield up priceless information on the life and habits of the T Rex. Larson made out a check to Williams for $5,000 to purchase the bones, and planned to make Sue the centerpiece of a museum that he and his brother had dreamed for years of building. In 1992, however, federal agents raided the Institute and seized Sue, triggering the greatest custody battle in paleontological history. In the end, Sue would be auctioned off to Chicago's Field Museum. Tyrannosaurus Sue is the definitive insider's look at how this dramatic discovery, and the ensuing legal struggle, played out. Everyone from the Jurrasic Park crowd of dinosaur lovers to those who delight in a well-told, exciting true story will enjoy this audiobook.

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How much is that T. Rex in the window? Journalist Steve Fiffer looks at the most contentious paleontological find ever in Tyrannosaurus Sue. This scientific, sociological, and legal study is entertaining and insightful, highlighting the personalities of the researchers, attorneys, and tribal and federal authorities who struggled for years over the ownership rights to the best-preserved Rex specimen yet found. From its discovery in South Dakota in 1990 by Susan Hendrickson and Peter Larson through the tortuous court cases to decide its fate to the final auction at Sotheby's, Fiffer finds just the right words to describe the action, a difficult task given the conflicting reports of contesting witnesses. Professional jealousy and academic elitism (or concern for valuable scientific material and Indian property rights) led to accusations of illegal collecting and the seizure of the skeleton by federal agents shortly after its move to Larson's Black Hills Institute. Suits, countersuits, and indictments escalated the struggle into an all-out war with vast sums of money and professional reputations at stake. In the end, Larson was imprisoned as an example to illegal collectors despite his sincere belief that he had worked within the law, and Sue was awarded to property owner Maurice Williams and purchased for $8 million by Chicago's Field Museum with the assistance of the McDonald's and Disney corporations. Tyrannosaurus Sue is a riveting tale, well-written and just unsettling enough to provoke thought and discussion. --Rob Lightner

From the Back Cover:

"A blow-by-blow account for control of the world's most famous dinosaur--real tour de force!"
--Kenneth Carpenter, Department of Earth Sciences, Denver Museum of Natural History

"For more than 65 million years, Sue rested in her Cretaceous coffin. She awoke to a world of legal battles and rivalry as fierce in their way as anything she faced when alive. Steve Fiffer tells her compelling story as well as it could be told. This book is a must for anyone with even the slightest interest in the interplay between science and the law."
--Dr. James L. Powell, President and Director, Los Angeles County Museum of Natural History

"A century after the Great Bone Wars of Cope and Marsh hit the headlines, Sue emerged from the earth--only to become embroiled in another fin de siecle fossil fiasco. Steve Fiffer relates Sue's fascinating story with flair, and with sensitivity to those who took part in the saga."
--Blake Edgar, editor of Dinosaur Digs and co-author of From Lucy to Language

"Steve Fiffer has written a lively, must-read book that untangles the complexities of the 'story of Sue' for all of those interested in something that can never happen again. Or could it?"
--Philip J. Currie, Curator of Dinosaurs at the Royall Tyrrell Museum of Palaentology in Alberta

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Book Description BRILLIANCE AUDIO, 2015. CD-Audio. Book Condition: New. Unabridged. Language: English . Brand New. In 1990, Peter Larson, with his team of commercial fossil hunters from the Black Hills Institute, discovered the most complete Tyrannosaurus Rex specimen in history. He dubbed it Sue after the field paleontologist who first saw it sticking out of a sandstone cliff on the ranch of Maurice Williams, a Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe member in South Dakota s badlands. Because the skelton was 90 complete, its study promised to yield up priceless information on the life and habits of the T Rex. Larson made out a check to Williams for $5,000 to purchase the bones, and planned to make Sue the centerpiece of a museum that he and his brother had dreamed for years of building. In 1992, however, federal agents raided the Institute and seized Sue, triggering the greatest custody battle in paleontological history. In the end, Sue would be auctioned off to Chicago s Field Museum. Tyrannosaurus Sue is the definitive insider s look at how this dramatic discovery, and the ensuing legal struggle, played out. Everyone from the Jurrasic Park crowd of dinosaur lovers to those who delight in a well-told, exciting true story will enjoy this audiobook. Bookseller Inventory # BRI9781501288517

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Book Description BRILLIANCE AUDIO, 2015. CD-Audio. Book Condition: New. Unabridged. Language: English . Brand New. In 1990, Peter Larson, with his team of commercial fossil hunters from the Black Hills Institute, discovered the most complete Tyrannosaurus Rex specimen in history. He dubbed it Sue after the field paleontologist who first saw it sticking out of a sandstone cliff on the ranch of Maurice Williams, a Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe member in South Dakota s badlands. Because the skelton was 90 complete, its study promised to yield up priceless information on the life and habits of the T Rex. Larson made out a check to Williams for $5,000 to purchase the bones, and planned to make Sue the centerpiece of a museum that he and his brother had dreamed for years of building. In 1992, however, federal agents raided the Institute and seized Sue, triggering the greatest custody battle in paleontological history. In the end, Sue would be auctioned off to Chicago s Field Museum. Tyrannosaurus Sue is the definitive insider s look at how this dramatic discovery, and the ensuing legal struggle, played out. Everyone from the Jurrasic Park crowd of dinosaur lovers to those who delight in a well-told, exciting true story will enjoy this audiobook. Bookseller Inventory # BRI9781501288517

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