|Editions | myCNN | Video | Audio | Headline News Brief | Feedback||
Largest Dinosaur Ever Unearthed on Display in Atlanta MuseumAired July 3, 2000 - 1:45 p.m. ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
NATALIE ALLEN, CNN ANCHOR: Well, you can call it one of the biggest exhibits at the Atlanta-based Fernbank Museum of Natural History. On display is the skeleton of a 45-foot, meat-eating dinosaur, from western Argentina. Later in the fall, visitors will be seeing a fully-mounted skeleton of the world's largest dinosaur ever discovered.
Joining us are Rodolfo Coria, the paleontologist who discovered the two dinosaurs -- this is Rodolfo -- and dinosaur expert, Don Lessem, two big-wigs in paleontology.
Thank you for joining us.
RODOLFO CORIA, PALEONTOLOGIST: Our pleasure.
ALLEN: First all, this talk about these two dinosaurs that will be in this museum: One is a Gigantosaurus. And I reading that, first of all, I could fit in this thing's mouth. Is that pretty much correct?
DON LESSEM, PRESIDENT, DINOSAUR PRODUCTIONS: Yes, were you alive at this time. And it was hungry. It could eat about 500 pounds, perhaps, in one bite -- so several of you.
ALLEN: And it would eat dinosaurs ten times its size. We've got big dinosaurs in the ground out there.
LESSEM: Yes, it's amazing. The T-Rex, who we all know, was a little bit shorter than this fellow, was the biggest guy in his world. This dinosaur tried to attack a plant-eater ten times as large, weighing as much as 75 elephants. This is a big animal.
ALLEN: And Rodolfo here is the one who unearthed it in Argentina.
Tell us about how it was found and more about what it looks like?
CORIA: Well, both animals, both dinosaurs, were found by local farmers in Patagonia, and they called us to the museum. So we started the digging work in these two different sites. And working in the herbivore, in the plant-eating dinosaur -- this guy had about 100 pounds in weight -- we expended about two years working on this site. And with the meat-eater, it was a little bit shorter, about six weeks of working, several people in the same time. And we could collect a good part of the information of the skeleton of these two guys.
ALLEN: Amazing. What did you learn about this meat-eater?
CORIA: Well, about the meat-eater, we learned that this dinosaur is showing the presence of a very primitive and old kind of meat-eater dinosaur in South America, which was extinct in other parts of the world. And, interestingly, this meat-eater dinosaur from Patagonia, represents a bigger kind of meat-eater dinosaur that we didn't know about before this. Until that time, the day that we found this dinosaur, the biggest meat-eater dinosaur known was than Tyrannosaurus Rex from North America. Gigantosaurus has the peculiarity to be a little bit bigger than Tyrannosaurus Rex.
ALLEN: I think you just find -- aren't you finding a lot more dinosaurs out there these days, Don?
LESSEM: Why is it always on the news these days?
LESSEM: Because there are so many more dinosaurs found since you and I were kids, or at least, since I was. There are twice as many dinosaurs now, and the rate increases right around professor Coria's museum. Within a hundred miles distance are ten new kinds of dinosaurs; that's just found in the last two years, including the biggest meat-eater, the biggest plant-eater, the bigger Raptor-like dinosaur. Eggs and babies with embryos still with skin on them.
It's not just the number, it's the detail of finds that tells us so much about dinosaur life than even a Disney movie can tell us.
ALLEN: And didn't you learn from this recent find that the meat- eaters had some sort of family structure? .
CORIA: Well, in another site that we have been working the last four years, we found a group of meat-eater dinosaurs -- of big-size, meat-eater dinosaurs -- that possibly, they died together. And so, our speculation is that, if they died together, maybe they lived together, forming a kind of group, like a family or things like that. This is very new knowledge about large-sized meat-eater dinosaurs; that they used to be thought to be solitary kind of hunters.
This family-like group means that they hunted together. And they developed kind of sophisticated social relationships among the members of this group.
ALLEN: Well, I assume as you find more information about dinosaurs, that the interest is just growing right there with it. Do you think we'll ever know, with the amount of dinosaurs that paleontologists are finding what really happened to the dinosaurs, and chartered their demise?
LESSEM: I don't think we will ever know what killed them. It's a wonderful speculation. And we have more and more information about an asteroid being implicated in this. But I think it's a very complicated thing. These were great success stories. They weren't failures. And it took 135 million years for them to disappear from the Earth, and a lot of causes. And I think we like to focus a lot more on what made them so wonderful and alive at their time, not what killed them off.
ALLEN: Very well said. All right, and you are going to find many more for us in the future. But these two will be on exhibit at the Fernbank here in Atlanta. It should be fabulous.
Rodolfo Coria and Don Lessem, thank you for talking with us.
LESSEM: Thank you.
TO ORDER A VIDEO OF THIS TRANSCRIPT, PLEASE CALL 800-CNN-NEWS OR USE OUR SECURE ONLINE ORDER FORM LOCATED AT www.fdch.com
|Back to the top||
© 2001 Cable News Network. All Rights Reserved.|
Terms under which this service is provided to you.
Read our privacy guidelines.