A new dinosaur unveiled today at the American Museum of Natural History hits many superlatives for the museum. It’s the tallest yet at 17 feet – just two feet shy of its home at the Wallach Orientation Center on the fourth floor. It’s too long for the space, so its head and neck go out into the elevator bank in front of the Lila Acheson Wallace Wing. The species is so new, it doesn’t have a scientific name yet but belongs to a group of herbivore giants known as “titanosaurs.” According to the American Museum of Natural History website, “The species lived in the forests of today’s Patagonia about 100 to 95 million years ago, during the Late Cretaceous period, and is one of the largest dinosaurs ever discovered.”
Photo via AMNH
A few years ago, a farmer had come across the skeleton on his ranch. The bones were excavated and 3D scanned. From this imprint, the bones were carved out of slabs of foam to create molds, which can be used to make fiberglass copies. There are five original fossils within this model, found at the excavation site in Patagonia, including a femur that is larger than many of us.
In the video, AMNH Curator of Paleontology Mark Norell explains that the titanosaur is made of “cancellous” bone, which is basically full of air pockets “like a piece of styrofoam. The bones themselves would be very very very light. That’s the only way an animal like this could get so big.” He continues to say that the dinosaur is being chosen to be displayed now because “it represents one of the newest big dinosaurs that has been found anywhere around the world.”
The New York Times has a time lapse video of the assembly of the titanosaur:
Get tickets to the American Museum of Natural History and come see the dinosaur for yourself!
Next, discover the Top 12 Secrets of the American Museum of Natural History.