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Tyrannosaurus rex



Tyrannosaurus rex
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 7 to 8
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   7.7

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    lizard-hipped, tyrant, best, theropod, Theropods, repaired, moveable, actual, plaster, reservation, classify, skull, powerful, honor, complete, include
     content words:    But Sue, Sue Hendrickson, Sioux Indian, South Dakota, Field Museum


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Tyrannosaurus rex
By Sharon Fabian
  

1     Sue Hendrickson stayed behind while the rest of the team of fossil hunters went to get their truck fixed. The truck had a flat tire, and going to get it repaired was a little bit of a break from digging for bones. But Sue stayed behind, and by the time the others returned she had discovered some huge dinosaur bones. Now the whole team was excited to get back to work. They found more and more bones of this huge meat-eating dinosaur, and by the time they were done they had uncovered an almost complete skeleton of a Tyrannosaurus rex. They named it Sue in honor of Sue Hendrickson.
 
2     Sue, discovered in 1990 on a Sioux Indian reservation in South Dakota, is the largest and most complete skeleton of a Tyrannosaurus rex ever found. It is also the best preserved, which makes it great for scientists to study. The bones are in such good shape that they show where the dinosaur's strong muscles were once attached to the bones. Sue is 42 feet long and 13 feet tall and weighed about seven tons when it was alive. Just the skull is five feet long and weighs 600 pounds. By studying the skull, scientists get clues to how a Tyrannosaurus ate and breathed. They learn how a T. rex observed its environment and how it related to other animals, but they can't tell whether Sue was a boy or a girl.
 
3     By looking at the fossils, scientists were able to classify Sue as a lizard-hipped theropod. Theropods are the fast moving, two-footed carnivorous dinosaurs. They include Tyrannosaurus rex and some other similar dinosaurs, including Albertosaurus, Tarbosaurus, and Daspletosaurus.

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