Bones in museum’s drawers lead to rediscovery of dinosaurNovember 14th, 2007 - 5:42 pm ICT by admin
Washington, Nov 14 (ANI): The skeleton of a dinosaur known as Barosaurus has been rediscovered by a curator in drawers of the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) in Canada.
The Barosaurus skeleton includes four massive neck vertebrae, a complete set of back vertebrae, the pelvis, 14 tail vertebrae, both upper arm bones, both thigh bones (each more than 55 inches (140 centimeters) in length), a lower leg and various other fragments.
The discovery was made by David Evans, Associate Curator of vertebrate paleontology, early this year, when he was tasked with finding a Sauropod dinosaur to display in an exhibition at the museum.
After months of researching, Evans spotted a reference in an article by sauropod expert Jack McIntosh suggesting that a Barosaurus skeleton was stored at the ROM.
When the ROM’s databases didn’t turn up anything, Evans found what he was looking for after going through collections of isolated bones hidden in drawers of the museum.
He eventually found that the bones actually belonged to an 80 foot long (24 meters) dinosaur known as Barosaurus.
“We were searching for an iconic sauropod skeleton, and we had one under our noses the whole time,” said Evans. “When all the parts were pulled together, we realized just how much of the animal the ROM actually had-the better part of a skeleton of a rare, giant dinosaur,” he added.
The reason behind the pieces of the Barosaurus being separated on different shelves and drawers in the ROM’s collection rooms is because of construction done in the early 1980s.
The Jurassic Period dinosaur weighed about 33,000 pounds (15,000 kilograms) and belongs to the four-legged, plant-eating group of dinosaurs known as sauropods, some of which sport long necks and tails, like this new specimen.
The newly discovered skeleton is from the Morrison Formation in the western United States and was collected in the early part of the 20th century from what is now Dinosaur National Monument, Utah.
The ROM acquired the skeleton in 1962 through a trade organized by former ROM Curator Gordon Edmund with the intention of installing it in a 1970 dinosaur gallery renovation.
The skeleton is currently being mounted. When complete, the 3-D resurrection will form the centerpiece of the ROM’s new James and Louise Temerty Galleries of the Age of Dinosaurs, opening during the weekend of Dec. 15 and 16. (ANI)
Tags: arm bones, associate curator, barosaurus, collection rooms, david evans, dinosaurs, drawers, giant dinosaur, jack mcintosh, jurassic period, long necks, morrison formation, museum rom, neck vertebrae, sauropod dinosaur, sauropods, skeleton, tail vertebrae, thigh bones, vertebrate paleontology