Peru’s first Museum of Paleontology to be built in coastal city of Trujillo

February 17, 2009 11:45 pmComments OffViews: 51

Peru’s first Museum of Paleontology – designed to exhibit million-year old dinosaur fossils and skeletons uncovered in Peru’s deserts and highlands – will be built on the outskirts of the northern coastal city of Trujillo, said the project’s promoter, Klaus Hönninger Mitrani.

The Meyer-Hönninger Museum’s main attractions will include the fossilized skeleton of a 12 million-year old Megalodon uncovered in the deserts of Ica, a 90 million-year old Giganotosaurus, or “giant southern lizard” found in Ayacucho, and a fish fossil dating back 230 million years.

The Megalodon, a giant shark that could measure more than 15 meters, or 49 feet, was the top predator of its time and the largest carnivorous fish known to have existed. It became extinct approximately 1.5 million years ago, most likely because of food shortages and climatic upheavals.

“When the museum opens, the international community will come to see (the Megalodon),” Hönninger told Peruvian state news agency Andina. “Scientists from across the world have already contacted me.”

The museum will also display 800 additional fossils and paleontological artifacts – many to be donated by the Wyoming Dinosaur Center.

“We will be Latin America’s third most important paleontological museum, after Argentina and Brazil,” added Hönninger.

“This museum will be marvelous,” said the Director of Peru’s National Cultural Institute, or INC, Enrique Sánchez Maura. “We stand amongst the five countries with the most fossil remains, and if we haven’t found them, its because we aren’t looking.”

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