In January 2016, the Museum is adding another must-see exhibit to its world-famous Fossil Halls: a cast of a 122-foot-long dinosaur. This species is so new that it has not yet been formally named by the paleontologists who discovered it.
Paleontologists suggest this dinosaur, a giant herbivore that belongs to a group known as titanosaurs, weighed in at around 70 tons. 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.
The remains were excavated in the Patagonian desert region of Argentina by a team from the Museum of Paleontology Egidio Feruglio led by José Luis Carballido and Diego Pol, who received his Ph.D. at the American Museum of Natural History.
The titanosaur cast, which will be installed in the Wallach Orientation Center on the fourth floor, will replace a life-sized—but, by comparison, diminutive—fleshed-out model of a juvenile Barosaurus that has been on display since the completion of the fourth floor in June 1996.
The new, much larger occupant will graze the gallery’s approximately 19-foot-high ceilings, and its 122-foot-length is just a bit too long for its new home. Instead, its neck and head will extend out towards the elevator banks, welcoming visitors to the “dinosaur” floor.
Image: A team member is dwarfed by a bone of the gigantic dinosaur excavated in Patagonia. Courtesy of Dr. Alejandro Otero