Sue Hendrickson with Her T. rex Find

Sue Hendrickson with Her T. rex Find American History Biographies Famous Historical Events Geography Social Studies STEM Visual Arts

One August day, in the summer of 1990, Sue Hendrickson kept looking for fossils when the rest of her companions left to repair a flat tire. Staying behind in the Badlands - near Faith, South Dakota - was one of the best things she ever did.

Sue has written an autobiography - Hunt for the Past:  My Life as an Explorer - in which she shares some of her adventures with the rest of the world.  (For example ... she made her first "find" when she was four years old.)

Doing careful background work, before she hit the dinosaur-searching trail, Sue tells us how she thought about where to look:

To find the dinosaur she calls "the biggest, baddest carnivorous beast that ever walked on earth," Hendrickson started with maps made by geologists searching for oil. She identified areas of rock from the late Cretaceous period, when T. rex lived. Walking along those rocks, Hendrickson reminded herself how fossils are made.

"To be preserved, an animal has to be sealed off from oxygen before it's eaten or decomposes," she says. "So I look for thin layers of rock, because thin layers were laid down quickly." Hendrickson's trained eye can pick out differences in the rocks. One dark-brown rock was the bone from a 67-million-year-old T. rex!  (Online interview, by Scholastic, Sue’s publisher.)

This image depicts Sue with her namesake discovery:  Sue, the dinosaur, who (once extracted from the South Dakota land) now lives in Chicago's Field Museum.

Click on the image for a much-better view.

Media Credits

Image online, courtesy Black Hills Institute of Geological Research, Inc.


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"Sue Hendrickson with Her T. rex Find" AwesomeStories.com. Oct 07, 2013. Sep 18, 2019.
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