After traveling all the way from Montana to Washington, D.C., one of the country's most complete examples of a T. rex skeleton has safely arrived at the Smithsonian Institution. The skeleton made its way to its new home onboard a FedEx truck and it will spend the next 50 years in the nation's capital.

While thousands of dinosaur buffs are excited about the T. rex skeleton's arrival at the Smithsonian, it won't be displayed until 2019. The skeleton will become the centerpiece of the museum's new dinosaur and fossil hall. However, the new facility is still currently being renovated and the construction process will continue for a few more years.

"Tyrannosaurus rex is truly the king of dinosaurs," said Kirk Johnson, Sant Director of the National Museum of Natural History. "We could not be more excited to welcome the nation's T. rex to Washington so it can be enjoyed by our 8 million visitors a year and serve as a gateway to the vast world of scientific discovery."

The T. rex was originally slated to arrive in Washington in October last year. However, the recent shutdown of the federal government caused a number of delays. The extra large FedEx "package" arrived at the Smithsonian Institution on April 15.

The T. rex skeleton has been loaned to the Smithsonian courtesy of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. It was first discovered in Montana in the year 1988 by a local ranch owner named Kathy Wankel. After finding what appeared to be the bones of a large dinosaur, Wankel called in experts from the nearby Museum of the Rockies. The team sent by the local museum was headed by Jack Horner, a Montana paleontologist. 

The team soon confirmed that the fossil was that of a T. rex and the lengthy excavation process began. To avoid damaging the bones, the team slowly and painstakingly excavated the fossil and the entire process lasted for around a year. Once the T. rex was completely unearthed in 1990, scientists were shocked to find one of the most complete T. rex skeletons ever found. Paleontologists say that around 80 percent to 85 percent of the entire skeleton has been found and accounted for.

The Smithsonian's new dinosaur and fossil hall occupies a whopping 31,000 square feet. The T. rex skeleton will eventually be housed in the hall's Rex Room, which is around 1,830 square feet in size. The hall is slated for completion in the year 2019.

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