Alamosaurus: A Texas Giant
NPS/Big Bend National park
In 1999, Dana Biasetti, a graduate student from the University of Texas at Dallas, discovered giant dinosaur bones protruding from a dry hillside in the Javelina Formation of Big Bend National Park. Upon careful excavation, this hillside yielded partial pelvic bones and ten articulated cervical vertebrae of an adult Alamosaurus.
Alamosaurus belongs to the group of dinosaurs named Sauropods-large herbivores with extremely long necks and tails. The Big Bend Alamosaurus appears to have been a massive individual, measuring in at 100 feet in length and probably weighing over 50 tons.
Due to their extreme size and the remote location of the fossil site, excavation and removal of these giant bones by hand was nearly impossible. As a result, Big Bend National Park issued a special permit to the excavation team to remove the fossil by helicopter. In 2001, UT Dallas, now teamed with the Dallas Museum of Natural History, made history with Big Bend's first ever "dinosaur airlift." Over the next several years, the fossil will be cleaned, studied, and prepared for display.
Did You Know?
Tornillo Creek drains the eastern portion of Big Bend National Park. The usually dry creek bed is named for the screwbean (tornillo) mesquite. For brief periods after summer thunderstorms, this desert stream roars. Tornillo Creek joins the Rio Grande at Hot Springs. More...