In January 2016, the American Museum of Natural History added another exhibit to its world-famous fossil halls: a cast of a 122-foot-long dinosaur. This species has not previously been known to paleontologists so they haven’t named it officially — but they call it the Titanosaur!
Scroll through the slideshow below to see behind-the-scenes images of how this massive exhibit was built.
The dinosaur on which the Museum’s new cast is based was excavated in the desert near La Flecha—135 miles west of Trelew, Patagonia, by a team from Argentina’s Museo Paleontológico Egidio Feruglio. © Dr. Alejandro Otero
The massive fiberglass cast was created over six months by Research Casting International (RCI) in Ontario, Canada, in association with Argentina’s Museo Paleontológico Egidio Feruglio. ©AMNH/D.Finnin
The life-sized skeleton on display doesn’t include any real fossils, which are far too heavy to mount. Instead, its bones are lightweight 3D prints made of fiberglass. ©AMNH/D.Finnin
The cast includes exact replicas of 84 fossil bones that were excavated in Argentine Patagonia in 2014. Missing bones were modeled, based on analysis of close relatives of this titanosaur. ©AMNH/D.Finnin
Mark Norell, Chair and Macaulay Curator in the Museum’s Division of Paleontology, reviews the progress of the cast with Peter May, President of Research Casting International in Ontario, Canada. ©AMNH/D.Finnin
The 122-foot-long dinosaur cast is too large to fit into the Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Orientation Center—part of its 39-foot-long neck extends out toward the elevator banks, welcoming visitors to the fossil halls. ©AMNH/D.Finnin
Based on the size of its front leg, this titanosaur was 20 feet (6 m) from the ground at its shoulder. And with its neck stretched out at a 45-degree angle, the animal could have peeked in the windows of a five-story building.
This fossil is the titanosaur’s femur (thigh bone). It is 8 feet long. Scientists used the relationship between the circumference of the femur and humerus (upper arm bone) to estimate the animal’s weight at around 70 tons. ©AMNH/D.Finnin
Research Casting International (RCI) installs the titanosaur cast in the Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Orientation Center at the American Museum of Natural History. ©AMNH/D.Finnin
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