Buenos Aires Times

argentina DINOSAUR EXHIBITION

Museum in Caballito unveils replica of 65-million-year-old dinosaur

Paleontologists recreate skeleton of plesiosaur, found in Lago Argentino, at Bernardino Rivadavia Natural Sciences Museum.

Wednesday 19 December, 2018
People attend the exhibition inauguration of a skeleton of a giant plesiosaurus (Reptilia, Sauropterygia), an extinct marine reptile discovered in cretaceous rocks near El Calafate, Santa Cruz province.
People attend the exhibition inauguration of a skeleton of a giant plesiosaurus (Reptilia, Sauropterygia), an extinct marine reptile discovered in cretaceous rocks near El Calafate, Santa Cruz province. Foto:JAVIER GONZALEZ TOLEDO / AFP

Local paleontologists have unveiled the replica of a 65-million-year-old skeleton of a plesiosaur marine reptile found in Lago Argentino in 2009.

"We've been working since 2009 until now to liberate the fossil from the rock surrounding it, making a reproduction and hanging it here in the museum hall," paleontologist Fernando Novas of the Bernardino Rivadavia Natural Science Museum in Buenos Aires told the AFP news agency in an interview.

The fossil is of a marine reptile found in Cretaceous period rocks close to the southern town of El Calafate, 2,800 kilometers (1,700 miles) from the capital.

The remains of this plesiosaur are the most complete found in the country and were discovered in rocks submerged in Lake Argentino at the foot of the Andes mountains.

"It was around 50 centimetres (1.64 feet) under the water and part of the lake had to be drained to take out the rocks," said scientist Marcelo Isasi.

Four tons of rocks had to be removed to unearth the fossil remains, found just 500 metres (1,640 feet) from an international airport.

plesiosaur

Plesiosaurs were huge marine reptiles that lived in seas throughout the entire planet inhabited the entire planet, with long necks, tiny heads and sharp teeth.

It was an era before the Andes existed and when Patagonia lay underwater.

The fossil is nine meters long with each fin measuring 1.3 meters.

- TIMES/AFP

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