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Land of Dinosaurs

Exhibit at Trelew’s Museo Paleontológico Egidio Feruglio

Exhibit at Trelew’s Museo Paleontológico Egidio Feruglio

The first book I ever read about Patagonia was George Gaylord Simpson’s Attending Marvels: A Patagonian Journal, about the paleontologist’s search for dinosaur bones in that windy desert that forms most of Argentina’s South. A sparsely populated country (less than one person per square mile), Patagonia preserves its paleontological heritage better than most populated places.

Near Nequén, there are three active digs that a tourist can visit. In Trelew, there is the attractive Museo Paleontológico Egidio Feruglio. Even the airport at Trelew has dinosaur bones on display.

Last September, CBS announced the discovery of substantial dinosaur remains for Dreadnoughtus schrani, which lived 77 million years ago, measured 85 feet long, and weighed in at 65 tons—heavier than a Boeing 737. (I wonder whether it was a vegetarian.)

I probably will not spend much time digging for fossils on my next trip to Argentina, but it’s always fun to see what others have dug up in that desolate land.