One of the most complete Tyrannosaurus rex skeletons will be sent from Montana to Washington, D.C., next week.

The Museum of the Rockies in Bozeman will have a celebration and the caravan with the skeleton will head out of town on Main Street April 11th.

The dinosaur skeleton will have a place of honor at the new paleontology exhibit at the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History. The T. rex is on loan to the museum for 50 years and will return to Montana.

The Friday festivities will start at the Bozeman museum at 11:30 a.m., with the usual amount of dignitaries, the museum mascot and barbequed hot dogs.

Then, at 1:30 p.m., the caravan - including a FedEx truck with the boxed-up T. rex - will head out with a police escort and an antique bus from Yellowstone National Park.

The Wankel T. rex fossil remains were discovered in 1988 by Kathy Wankel of Angela and was excavated in 1989-90 by Jack Horner's field crews. Horner is now Regents Professor of Paleontology at the Museum of the Rockies.

By the way, the bronze T. rex in front of the Bozeman museum was cast from the Wankel skeleton. Its nickname, according to an MSU news release, is "Big Mike."

Another almost complete T. rex skeleton is being prepared for the Bozeman Siebel Dinosaur Complex. It is known as Peck's Rex.