The First Art Newspaper on the Net   Established in 1996 United States Monday, September 16, 2019


Brazil's biggest dinosaur found after passing 60 years in cupboard
The Director of Earth Science Museum, Diogenes de Almeida Campos speaks to AFP while he shows some fossils of a dinosaur's neck, that were collected in 1953 by the Brazilian paleontologist Llewellyn Ivor Price at Earth Science Museum in Rio de Janeiro on October 6, 2016. The dinosaur newly named Austroposeidon Magnificus was about 25 meters long and the largest among 9 species discovered in Brazil. YASUYOSHI CHIBA / AFP.

by Sebastian Smith


RIO DE JANEIRO (AFP).- Brazil just found its biggest ever dinosaur -- in a storage cupboard.

In its prime, more than 66 million years ago, this long necked herbivore was 25 meters (82 feet) long -- longer than an articulated bus -- and could chomp through trees at a terrifying rate.

By the time the creature was found by renowned Brazilian paleontologist Llewellyn Ivor Price in 1953, only a few hefty, fossilized bits of the spine remained.

Researchers knew immediately they'd stumbled on something big.

They didn't have the staff or resources to figure out how big, however, so the dinosaur pieces languished the next six decades in storage at Rio's ornate Museum of Earth Sciences.

Until now.

The remains of what has been named "Austroposeidon magnificus," and pronounced Brazil's biggest dinosaur, went on general public view for the first time Thursday.

A nearly complete spinal vertebra -- about the size of a microwave oven and entirely petrified -- and numerous fragments of other vertebrae lie on a black cloth in an upper room of the museum.

Nearby hangs an enormous artist's rendition, done to scale, of what "Austroposeidon magnificus" might have looked like: a small head, long neck, enormous body and long tail. A patch of the reptile's skin is shown pulled back to reveal where the prize vertebra would have slotted in.

'What, 60 years?'
Museum director Diogenes de Almeida Campos said six decades does sound on the slow side for studying such a big find.

"A friend said to me just yesterday, 'Diogones, what, it took you 60 years?'," he recalled with a wry smile. "It sounds a bit ridiculous to say this."

But he explained that in the 1950s Price and his assistants were pioneers in the field for Brazil, and while "it was certain that vertebrae of this size came from a gigantic animal, it needed to be studied."

Campos said money was an issue holding back research, as well as a lack of people up to the task. Even today there are only 10 serious dinosaur experts in the country, he said.

"We were waiting for the staff..., for a laboratory that started from nothing to mature," he said. "We made a first effort with students about eight years ago and it didn't succeed."

Finally, Campos' student Kamila Bandeira made the mysterious monster the subject of her doctoral thesis and over the last four years put the pieces of the puzzle together.

Dinosaurs in back yards
The most spectacular dinosaur discoveries come in desert or largely bare areas, such as the US southwest, the south of Argentina or Mongolia, where they are easier to find. The fossilized bones of the biggest dinosaur known to date -- an estimated 40 meters (130 feet) long -- were unearthed in Argentina in 2014.

"Austroposeidon magnificus" was found, like many other dinosaur remains, by chance during road building near Sao Paulo. The reason only a few fossilized bones were found -- and not the whole skeleton -- points to the creature's unceremonious end, Campos says.

"When these animals die, it's... a huge new source of meat. So all the hunters, the carnivores ate this creature. The first thing they ate is the head, because the brain must be tasty," said Campos.

"They also broke the long bones to get at the marrow... After, came smaller animals and nothing was left over. Anything that did remain the beetles and the spiders and the ants finished, and when there was just bones, the bacteria came. Finally the remains sank into the lagoon."

There may be many such discoveries waiting to be made in Brazil's thick flora.

"Pay attention when roads are built, when wells are dug," Campos advised. "You could have a dinosaur in your backyard and not realize!"

Extinction then and now
A lifetime hanging around fossils of extinct giants has given Campos, 73, unique perspective on creation and destruction. But today's world, where human activity dominates for the first time, disturbs him.

"Extinction is as normal a thing for paleontologists, as is the appearance of a new species," he said. "But in comparison with what's happening today -- the disappearance of tigers or whales -- this is not caused by nature."

"It's worrying."

In the palatial but at times shockingly decrepit Rio museum -- a victim, like many other Brazilian public institutions, of underfunding -- Campos said his job was a great passion.

He recalled studying under the great Price and "traveling with him over almost all of Brazil, collecting materials."

Tears sprang to his eyes as he pointed out that he, Price and Bandiera were all now linked in a kind of paleontologists' family tree.

Dinosaur hunting, he said, his voice brimming with emotion, "is an activity you can compare to art."



© 1994-2016 Agence France-Presse






Today's News

October 9, 2016

Brazil's biggest dinosaur found after passing 60 years in cupboard

Maíno's Adorations: Heaven on Earth on view at the National Gallery

Scottish historian finds 'Hitler's first autobiography'

Exhibition explores Frans Post's paintings of Brazilian flora and fauna

Momentum continues as Sotheby's Frieze sales conclude

New Roy Lichtenstein retrospective explores social impact of Pop Art

Exhibition at Yale University Art Gallery brings art and science together

Unprecedented Spanish-American partnership brings modern Spanish art to Dallas

The world's most legendary artists of music highlight Julien's Auctions' "Icons and Idols: Rock N' Roll Auction

Paintings, drawings, sculptural elements, and film by Oscar Murillo on view at David Zwirner

Exhibition puts pioneering British female photographer Olive Edis back in focus

British Africa: Spink London announces the first auction of the David Pitts Collection

Exhibition at Victoria Miro presents works by artists concerned with the socio-political issues of their day

The Autry Museum of the American West opens most transformative project in its history

Weinberg/Newton Gallery opens a group exhibition coinciding with the 2016 presidential election

Exhibition explores different aspects related to childhood and adolescence

Museum to display Michael Schumacher memorabilia

I, Cyborg: A group exhibition opens at Gazelli Art House

Top 10 most intriguing timepieces offered by Heritage Auctions Oct. 27

Most comprehensive anthological exhibition held to date on Marcel Broodthaers opens in Madrid

Laura Bartlett presents a solo exhibition of new work by Sol Calero

Columbus Museum of Art exhibits works by artists who have used the sun as subject

Colnaghi opens new 4,000 square foot gallery in London

Korean Cultural Centre UK opens new exhibition from its 2016 'Artist of the Year'

Most Popular Last Seven Days



1.- Holocaust 'masterpiece' causes uproar at Venice film festival

2.- To be unveiled at Sotheby's: One of the greatest collections of Orientalist paintings ever assembled

3.- Bender Gallery features paintings by up and coming Chicago artist Michael Hedges

4.- Lévy Gorvy exhibits new and historic works by French master in his centenary year

5.- Artificial Intelligence as good as Mahler? Austrian orchestra performs symphony with twist

6.- Fascinating new exhibition explores enduring artistic bond between Scotland and Italy

7.- Exhibition explores the process of Japanese-style woodblock production

8.- Robert Frank, photographer of America's underbelly, dead at 94

9.- The truth behind the legend of patriot Paul Revere revealed in a new exhibition at New-York Historical Society

10.- Hitler bust found in cellar of French Senate



Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .

 



Founder:
Ignacio Villarreal
(1941 - 2019)
Editor & Publisher: Jose Villarreal
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez

Royalville Communications, Inc
produces:

ignaciovillarreal.org avemariasound.org juncodelavega.com facundocabral-elfinal.org
Founder's Site. The most varied versions
of this beautiful prayer.
Hommage
to a Mexican poet.
Hommage
       

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.
Sending Mail
Sending Successful