In January 2016, the Museum added 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 Museo Paleontologico Egidio Feruglio led by José Luis Carballido and Diego Pol, who received his Ph.D. degree in a joint program between Columbia University and the American Museum of Natural History. One of the 8-foot femurs, or thigh bones, found at the site is among five original fossils on temporary view with The Titanosaur.
The Titanosaur cast, which is exhibited in the Wallach Orientation Center on the fourth floor, replaced a life-sized—but, by comparison, diminutive—fleshed-out model of a juvenile Barosaurus that had been on display since the completion of the fourth floor in June 1996.
The new, much larger occupant grazes the gallery’s approximately 19-foot-high ceilings, and, at 122-foot, is just a bit too long for its new home. Instead, its neck and head extend out towards the elevator banks, welcoming visitors to the “dinosaur” floor.
Generous support for The Titanosaur exhibit has been provided by the Susan S. and Kenneth L. Wallach Foundation.