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Apatosaurus Find Has Most Of Skull


Head-to-tail dino find an 'extreme rarity'

TEN SLEEP - Down three miles of dirt road, on a farm outside Ten Sleep, is the final resting place of several dinosaurs that met their end in a mud hole 140 million years ago.

Paleontologists are scratching away at the dinosaur graveyard and recently have unearthed the fossilized remains of an apatosaurus, better known as brontosaurus.

The specimen has been nicknamed "Einstein, the brontosaurus with a brain" because of its complete and intact braincase.

Henry Galiano, founder and owner of Maxilla & Mandible International, the company responsible for the dig site, said this is a rare and exciting find. The Ten Sleep specimen, which is 80 percent complete, is 70 feet long. Its many pieces have been gathered over the past two years by paleontologists from around the world.

Apatosaurus skeletons more than 50 percent complete are rare, Galiano said. There are only 10 unearthed adult skeletons and two other fragmentary skulls, making this an "extreme rarity."

Robert Bakker, curator at the Houston Museum of Natural Science, said: "What's particularly frustrating to paleontologists who study these beasts is that we haven't had a clue what a complete associated apatosaurus skull and skeleton looks like.

"Einstein gives us our first view of an apatosaurus from head to tail."

At the site, Galiano enthusiastically remarked on the remnants of an allosaurus and pointed at the barren ground where Einstein had slept for the past 140 million years.
Galiano said that the multi- species quarry from which Einstein was recovered was most likely a muddy watering hole. He speculates that Einstein came upon the dried- up lake in search of water and became stuck.

This may have attracted other carnosaurs, or meat-eating dinosaurs, to the site. One factor that confirms the watering-hole theory is Einstein's position. Galiano said that it was very vertical, almost standing.