Monday, January 9, 2012

Dinosaurs at the Museo Argentino de Ciencias Naturales

After a little break over the holidays, let's finish up these Argentina posts, shall we? After my research visits to the Museo Carmen Funes, Museo Carlos Ameghino, and Museo de La Plata, it was nice to be able to visit the main natural history museum in Buenos Aires as just a tourist. If you're in Buenos Aires, it's well worth a visit.

The dinosaur hall is large and with a lot of Gondwanan dinosaurs you don't see very often. I particularly liked this sprinting Carnotaurus that fits nicely with Scott's recent paper on the tail of Carnotaurus.

Amargasaurus is one of my favourite sauropods. Who can resist those incredible cervical vertebrae? But even better is that this is one of the only dinosaurs I know of that is mounted in an egg-laying pose. It's really refreshing to see a variety of behaviours presented by skeletal mounts, and it is especially nice to see a herbivore doing something other than fleeing or eating.

Although a lot of this mount of Bonatitan is reconstructed, it is interesting to see such a small sauropod, and there was just something pleasing about the whole thing.

A bunch of early dinosaurs and dinosauromorphs are also featured, including a reconstructed Marasuchus, Hererrasaurus, and this Eoraptor.

Argentina of course has wonderful mammal fossils as well, and there was a great exhibit about the fossils found near Buenos Aires. I liked seeing this glyptodont without its carapace.

And who would have thought that ground sloths could be so dramatic?

There's also a really nice comparative osteology hall, with one of my favourite exhibits being this exploded crocodilian head.

This museum has one of the best bird galleries I've been to, so I'll save that for its own post, coming up next...