A fiberglass model of a 122-foot-long dinosaur — its species so recently discovered that it hasn’t even been officially named yet — went on display at the American Museum of Natural History in New York Friday, replacing a juvenile Barosaurus that has been exhibited for 20 years.
The new species was discovered in 2014 in Argentina’s Patagonia region. Paleontologists believe it was a herbivore from a group known as titanosaurs and weighed around 70 tons, and that it lived around 100 million years ago, during the Cretaceous period.
The dinosaur on which the museum’s new cast is based was excavated in the desert near La Flecha by a team from Argentina’s Museo Paleontológico Egidio Feruglio after a rancher told scientists at the museum in 2012 about fossils on his land. The cast, which took six months to make, is based on 84 fossil bones found at the site.
It is one of the largest dinosaurs ever discovered. It is even longer than the exhibition room where it was installed, so its head and part of its neck stick out the door where it welcomes visitors to the “dinosaur floor.” Five fossils found at the site will be temporarily on display with the model.
Titanosaur fossils have been unearthed on every continent, and an abundance of discoveries in recent years has helped us appreciate the deep diversity of this group.
Michael Novacek, senior VP, American Museum of Natural History
The unveiling of the new dinosaur is part of a series of events highlighting dramatic developments in paleontology, including a new exhibition, Dinosaurs Among Us that will open March 21. Details: www.amnh.org.
MIAMI HERALD STAFF AND WIRES