LAWRENCE, Kan. — The University of Kansas is now home to a Tyrannosaurus rex fossilized skeleton thanks to a team who helped dig up the specimen and bring it to Lawrence.

The crew spent the past four summers in Montana excavating the skeleton little by little, the Lawrence Journal-World reported . University paleontologist David Burnham says he and his crew of students and volunteers have nicknamed the female dinosaur Lucy.

The team unearthed about 25 percent of Lucy’s skull, about 60 percent of her hip bones and 45 percent of her leg bones. Burnham estimated she lived to about 15 years and that she was likely pregnant right before she died.

“That’s the sad part of the story,” Burnham said. “She probably died right before she could lay her eggs.”

The university’s Biodiversity Institute labs are still cleaning some of the bones. Burnham said they’ll eventually be added to the temporary exhibit at the school’s Natural History Museum.

Lucy’s exhibit has received positive feedback so far, said Jen Humphrey, a spokeswoman for the museum.

“There’s such a continuing fascination in the public with the T. rex, and it’s one of the reasons we’re so excited to bring this material to KU and display it,” Humphrey said. “And the public continues to be fascinated by it — dinosaurs light up the imagination.”

Burnham said he hopes to resume digging in Montana soon. Until then, he said he’ll work on making Lucy a permanent exhibit at the museum.

“It’s a paleontologist’s dream to work on a T. rex,” he said. “And it feels really cool to have your dreams fulfilled.”


Information from: Lawrence (Kan.) Journal-World, http://www.ljworld.com