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Drexel-Academy Scientists Install Rare Dino Bone at Franklin Institute

February 10, 2012

Paleontologists Dr. Kenneth Lacovara from Drexel and Dr. Ted Daeschler from the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University, together with Jason Poole, manager of the Academy’s Fossil Prep Lab, unveiled the cast of a fossil from one of the largest known dinosaurs on February 2 at the Franklin Institute.

Dino bone installation at the Franklin

See more photos from the installation here.

This marked the first time any part of the Paralititan, which was first discovered in 2000, was displayed outside of Egypt. The five-foot-long humerus (upper arm bone) cast from the plant-eating giant Paralititan stromeri was installed in the new Giant Mysterious Dinosaurs exhibit at the Franklin Institute. The Paralititan display includes 3-D laser scanning and rapid prototyping technology.

The Academy and the Franklin Institute announced a new Giant Dinosaur Deal discounted joint ticket offer so visitors can enjoy dinosaurs at both of Philadelphia’s leading science museums at a reduced rate.

Lacovara, Daeschler and Poole lifted the huge cast into place and answered questions about the Paralititan, and Drexel robotics professor Dr. James Tangorra answered questions about the latest 3-D technology applied to the study of dinosaurs.

Paralititan was discovered in 2000 in Egypt by a joint team from Drexel (Lacovara), the Academy (Poole), the University of Pennsylvania, and the Egyptian Geological Survey. The 80-foot-long, 40-ton plant-eating Paralititan lived 95 million years ago along the coast of North Africa. Paralititan is the second-most massive dinosaur known and its discovery is important because it has added new information to the little-known African titanosaurs of the Late Cretaceous Period.

The Giant Dinosaur Deal ticket allows visitors to purchase one combination ticket for general admission to the Franklin and to see Giant Mysterious Dinosaurs, then walk across the street to the Academy’s permanent Discovering Dinosaurs exhibit. The Academy’s exhibit features 30 species of dinosaurs and a Fossil Prep Lab where technicians are working on a new, as-yet unnamed species of giant dinosaur discovered by Lacovara. The combo ticket price is $27.50 for adults and $23.50 for children. Academy members visiting the Franklin are $18.50 for adults and $12.25 for children. Franklin members visiting the Academy are $9 for adults and $5 for children. Tickets may be purchased at the Academy and at the Franklin. The offer runs through March 18.

The Giant Mysterious Dinosaurs exhibit is located at the Franklin Institute, 222 North 20th St. in Philadelphia in The Mandell Center.

--Carolyn Belardo, Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University