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Smithsonian announces delay in T. rex's arrival

Friday - 10/4/2013, 3:13pm  ET

WASHINGTON -- The long-awaited arrival of the Smithsonian's complete Tyrannosaurus rex specimen has been delayed until spring due to the government shutdown.

The 38-foot-long, 7-ton skeleton was slated to arrive in D.C. on Oct. 16, National Fossil Day, amid celebrations. The massive specimen is on a 50-year loan from the Museum of the Rockies in Bozeman, Mont.

On Friday, after days of speculation, the museum officially announced the T. rex's arrival will be delayed until April to ensure the safe travel of the fossil on what would be snowy western roads.

In reaction to the delay, Kirk Johnson, director of the museum, expressed frustration at the lost coordination and time that went into planning the T.rex transport and arrival for National Fossil Day.

"It's tremendously wasteful. A huge amount of effort went into this. And we're doing the right thing -- the prudent thing -- but it really shouldn't have happened this way," said Kirk Johnson, director of the museum.

As of now, National Fossil Day is still planned to go on at the Natural History Museum as long as the National Mall is back open by the event day, October 16.

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