Southern Manufacturing

Fiberglass Dinosaur Display

07 September 2001

The replica skeletons of the flesh-eating Giganotosaurus and the larger but strictly vegetarian Argentinosaurus are on permanent display at the Fernbank Museum of Natural History.

In the museum's 86-foot-tall atrium, the Argentinosaurus protects a clutch of eggs from the attacking Giganotosaurus -- a scene that likely was common when the two giants roamed Argentina's lush Patagonia region about 100 million years ago. A flock of 21 winged pterosaurs hovers over the death match.

The first Argentinosaurus fossil was found in 1987 by Guillermo Heredia, a sheep rancher in Argentina, who mistook the fossil for petrified wood. Heredia eventually took the fossil to the Museo Camen Funes in Neuquen, Argentina, where paleontologist Rodolfo Coria and a team of seven scientists uncovered 12 bones belonging to the mammoth creature.

The actual fossils remain at the Museo Camen Funes, which isn't large enough to house an assembled skeleton. But the bones are considered a national treasure and could not legally leave Argentina, so they cast replica bones in fiberglass and shipped them to the United States.

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