Victoria, The Second Most Complete T. Rex Ever Found, On Display At The Arizona Science Center

By Kaely Monahan, Mark Brodie, Lauren Gilger
Published: Monday, December 16, 2019 - 2:13pm
Updated: Tuesday, December 17, 2019 - 8:52am

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The T. rex named Victoria
Arizona Science Center
The T. rex named Victoria is at the Arizona Science Center until May 2020.

LAUREN GILGER: Where are we?

MARK BRODIE: Well, Lauren, judging by these ferns and that tree, if I had to hazard a guess, I'd say we're probably sometime in the Cretaceous Period.

GILGER: Are you saying we time traveled?

BRODIE: Looks like there's a path this way. Look, there's a break in the trees.

GILGER: Is that a T. rex?

BRODIE: I think so — but don't worry, it appears to be, well, dead. In fact, I think we've actually ended up at the Arizona Science Center. And if I'm not mistaken, that's Victoria.

GILGER: The T. rex is named Victoria?

BRODIE: That's right. Sari Custer, the Arizona Science Center, chief scientist and curiosity officer, can explain.

SARI CUSTER: So Victoria is really unique. She was found in Faith, South Dakota, in 2013, processed in Victoria, British Columbia. Hence the name Victoria.

GILGER: OK, I get it. But why is she so unique?

BRODIE: Well, I will let Sari tell you.

The T. rex named Victoria
Arizona Science Center
The T. rex named Victoria is at the Arizona Science Center until May 2020.

CUSTER: Victoria, here, she is about 40 feet long, 12 feet at her highest. She's on a beautiful display here. It's more modern than it is more traditionally natural history museum. And that was done intentionally. IMG, the company that put this exhibition together, really wanted to bring this exhibition into the 21st century. So she's displayed really brightly and beautifully and with the 199 real bones on display, that's unusual. Plus, she's the second most complete T. rex ever found. And something that people don't really know, now we've only found about 50 of them — ever.

GILGER: Wow. That really is impressive.

BRODIE: And, as Sari said, the exhibit is very modern. You can learn all about Victoria's life. You can recreate her in a moving hologram form and walk through her territory.

GILGER: But how can you really tell if she is, in fact, a she?

BRODIE: It's rather surprising what you can learn from millennia-old bones? Sari says most of the evidence in her bones points to that fact.

CUSTER: So, birds have medullary bones. They grow and build up calcium, and that's where the females pull the calcium from to make eggs. And they find evidence of the same thing here in Victoria. And they do have to confirm that, but they're running with it because they have the initial evidence of that.

GILGER: That sounds interesting all — but I think I really have to leave at this point.

BRODIE: Yeah, I'm with you on that. But Victoria is sticking around the Valley until Memorial Day. And you can see pictures of her on our website — from a safe distance, of course. That's KJZZ.org.

The T. rex named Victoria
Arizona Science Center
The T. rex named Victoria is at the Arizona Science Center until May 2020.

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