Smithsonian's new resident roamed the earth 66 million years ago

After long years of waiting, the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History is getting its very own nearly complete Tyrannosaurus Rex to replace the fake one that's been on display for years.

It is the first T. Rex fossil to join the museum's dinosaur exhibit and features close to 200 bones.

It recently arrived from Montana, where it was discovered 25 years ago.

Ranchers Kathy and Tom Wankel found the 38-foot-long fossil on federal land in Montana in 1988, and it was excavated two years later.

"Its skull is about 4.5 feet wide, so it's huge. My head would be a cocktail peanut for a Tyrannosaurus Rex," said Kirk Johnson, the museum's director and a paleontologist.

But visitors will have to wait a while to see the dinosaur in person

Last weekend, the museum's Fossil Hall closed for a five-year renovation.

It'll take that long to repair and meticulously re-assemble 2,000 fossils and skeletons, including the new T. Rex.

"We'll scan it three-dimensionally and make a digital model of the T. Rex, and we'll use that digital model to find the best life-like pose that we can then build a steel armature to support," Johnson said.

It will then take center stage in a new, state-of-the-art Fossil Hall.

The skeleton will be mounted upright for the first time and will serve as the centerpiece of a $48 million gallery that focuses on the history of life on earth.

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