Thursday, 21 November 2013

Dinosaur Bone Damaged in WWII Revealed with 3D Printing

The identity of a mislabeled fossil damaged in a World War II era bombing has finally been revealed as part of an enormous long-necked plant-eating dinosaur.

The fossil, tucked inside the plaster jacket paleontologist wrapped around it more than 100 years ago, belongs to the Museum of National History in Berlin. During World War II, a bomb fell on the museum's east wing, collapsing the basement where dinosaur fossils were stored.

Many fossils were reduced to dust in the bombing, and the ones that survived were scattered and mixed up. Making matters worse, bones from two separate expeditions had been housed in the same area. One expedition, in Tanzania, ran from 1909 to 1913 and brought back 235 tons of fossils, labeled with letters based on their locations. The other fossils came from a 1909 discovery in Halberstadt, Germany. Those bones also used a letter-based label system — but the letters referred not to locations, but to individual animals.

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