New Mexico Super Giants – part of Dinosaur Century only at the New Mexico Museum of Natural History & Science
For Immediate Release
Contact Alicia Borrego Pierce 505-264-5464
ALBUQUERQUE, NM - April 12, 2012 -In the small village of San Ysidro, near Cuba, NM, one of the longest dinosaurs that ever walked the Earth was discovered. His name is Camarasaurus, he measures 55 feet long and is April’s featured dinosaur as part of the New Mexico Museum of Natural History & Science Dinosaur Century Exhibit. Come see him and his pal Seismo starting on April 21, 2012
In 1979, Arthur Loy and Jan Cummings were hiking in the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) area called the Ojito, northwest of Albuquerque. Loy spotted the large bones first and casually called to his friend, “Come see what you make of this.” Cummings recalls the event: “I instantly recognized from thirty feet the obvious vertebrae of a large dinosaur. The articulated vertebral column looked like a huge chicken neck laying half in and half out of sandstone.”
For fear of the precious fossils being vandalized, Cummings and Loy kept their find secret, only sharing it with a small group of friends. In 1985, with increased recreational activity in the Ojito, they reported their awesome find to the BLM and the newly-established New Mexico Museum of Natural History. Excavation by a Museum crew led by then Curator of Paleontology David Gillette uncovered the partial skeleton of a huge new sauropod, later named Seismosaurus (“[earth]-shaking lizard”), one of the longest dinosaurs in the world, with a full body length of 110 feet.
1982 Camarasaurus near San Ysidro
The best known Late Jurassic “brontosaur” was Camarasaurus. Complete skeletons have been found in Wyoming and Utah. In the late 1970s, while hiking, Bill Johnstone found part of the skeleton of a Camarasaurus near San Ysidro in Sandoval County. In May-June 1978, then U.S. Bureau of Land Management paleontologist J. Keith Rigby, Jr. (1947-2011) oversaw the excavation of the dinosaur. About 20% of a skeleton was recovered, mostly parts of the backbone and hips. The fossil was then made part of the NMMNHS collection.
The New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science preserves and interprets the distinctive natural and scientific heritage of our state through extraordinary collections, research, exhibits and programs designed to ignite a passion for lifelong learning.