Where can you see the first complete T-Rex skeleton – the one for which the species was named?
If you guessed the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History you’d be a very good guesser, but wrong. While the collection of dinosaur bones in DC is certainly impressive, it doesn’t have as many complete and authentic (ie not cast) skeletons on display as the natural history museum in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
What are all these national treasures doing in western Pennsylvania? Before Andrew Carnegie was building concert halls on the East Coast, he was a building a steel empire in Pittsburgh, the steel capital of the world during the late 19th century. When news of a giant animal being discovered in the west hit the papers, Carnegie commissioned archaeologists to bring one home to Pittsburgh. The result of those early expeditions was the discovery of the first complete tyrannosaurus rex skeleton, which is still on display in the natural history section of the Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh.
Along side this headline-grabbing monster are several other complete skeletons, including multiple holotype specimens, the specimen to which all other members of its species are compared. The Pittsburgh museum is the first in the world to offer a permanent exhibition with accurate, immersive environments spanning the Mesozoic Era arranged chronologically and filled with actively posed original fossil specimens. In addition to the exhibits, visitors can peek in on a working PaleoLab where fossils are prepared for study or display in the museum.