Sunday, January 17, 2016

Titanosaur - the largest dinosaurs ever discovered is in New York Museum of Natural History

In 1904 the American Museum of Natural History brought a brontosaur skeleton to its galleries. The 67 foot-long 15,000-pound “thunder saurian” fossil that was greeted with tea parties once made open to the public in 1905. New York Times wrote:
"Sunday crowds poured by thousands into American Museum of Natural History (...) to gaze upon and speculate about the huge skeleton of the brontosaurus which had the place of honor at the society tea held in dinosaurs room. The visitors all want to see the monster whose arrival had brought J. Pierpont Morgan from his Wall Street office to join the tea drinkers. A replica of one of the largest dinosaurs ever discovered is now on display at the museum".
Picture of 1904


Apatosaurus
In 1898 paleontologist Walter Granger discovered a large set of fossilized bones at Wyoming’s Como Bluff .  It   took six years to mount it in the museum.  Since Granger and his team did not find a head  ,  they gave it a sculpted head of another type of animal.  
In 1990s, during the renovation of the fossil halls, the head of  Apatosaurus  ( a correct name for Brontosaurus)  was replaced with  cast of the skull from Pittsburgh’s Carnegie Museum.    Apatosaurus skeleton with a detached skull  was found just  a few years after the Apatosaurus was first mounted, but for decades paleontologists disagreed over whether the skull belonged with the body.



A replica of one of the largest dinosaurs ever discovered  was added to museum this January.

  The biggest dinosaur ever exhibited at the museum and among the largest ever discovered stretches 122 feet long and rise nearly 20 feet to reach the ceiling. It is twice as large as the brontosaurus from 1904.

 It is believed to have weighed, when walking the Earth roughly 100 million years ago, some 70 tons—as heavy as at least 10 African elephants.

It is life-size and is too large to fit into the hall and to stand up straight under the museum’s 19-foot-high ceilings. With its neck up, the titanosaur would have been tall enough to look into a five-story building. “We struggled with just fitting him in, and in order to do it, we had to crouch him down,” said museum president Ellen Futter. As it turns out, the hall also isn’t long enough to completely hold the dinosaur, as the titanosaur’s head protrudes from its exhibit room into an adjoining entranceway.


The fossils were accidentally discovered in 2011 by a farm worker in a remote area in the Patagonian province of Chubut, some eight hundred miles south of Buenos Aires, Argentina. The worker spotted the tip of a massive fossil sticking out of the ground. Researchers started digging and in 2014 discovered the most complete skeleton of a titanosaur, a group of gigantic plant-eating dinosaurs that dominated the Southern Hemisphere beginning about 90 million years ago. After just one day of digging, paleontologists had uncovered more than 220 bones. One of the thigh bones measuring 7.8 feet in length.

 “This is a true paleontological treasure,” a paleontologist at the Egidio Feruglio Museum in the southern Argentine city of Trelew said. “There are many remains and they were practically intact, something that does not frequently happen.” Titanosaurian dinosaurs were among the largest animals in the southern continents during the final 30 million years of the Mesozoic Era. Several titanosaur species are regarded as the most massive land-living animals yet discovered; nevertheless, nearly all of these giants were known only from very incomplete fossils.


What they discovered is a cemetery of dinosaurs the likes of which we had never seen in the history of Argentine paleontology," Ruben Cuneo, director of the Museo Paleontológico Egidio Feruglio said The dinosaur is so new, it doesn’t have an official name. The term “titanosaur” actually refers to a group of giant dinosaurs of similar make and size, according to Don Phillips, president of the New York Paleontological Society and a lecturer at New York University.

Two  dinosaur halls  are located in the David H. Koch Dinosaur Wing of the museum. David H. Koch is an executive vice president and a board member of Koch Industries, Inc., which owns a diverse group of companies. A long-time philanthropist, Mr. Koch has given generously to a variety of organizations and programs.
He gave $20 million to the American Museum of Natural History in New York City establishing the David H. Koch Dinosaur Wing.


One of David Koch’s biggest hobbies, beyond his more general philanthropic pursuits, is paleontology. Dinosaurs are the things that interest him most. Koch caught the dinosaur bug at the age of 14, when his father took him and his twin brother, Bill, to visit the American Museum of Natural History. “I was just dazzled by the dinosaurs,” he told.