Lourinhã’s Dino Park receives Europe’s oldest dinosaur

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The Lourinhã Dinosaur Park will receive more than a hundred fossils of the oldest dinosaur in Europe and one of the oldest in the world, to be studied and then integrated into the museum’s collection, it was announced today.

Simão Mateus, scientific director of Dino Parque da Lourinhã, in the district of Lisbon, told Lusa news agency that the Plateosaurus fossils were found in the early 20th century and have not yet been studied.

They belong to the Sauriermuseum Frick, a paleontology museum located in Frick, Switzerland, which “does not have the capacity” to study the fossils and put them on display.

For this reason, the fossils will be transported to Lourinhã to be studied over the next two years and integrate the Dino Parque exhibition, under an agreement with the Swiss museum.

Plateosaurus is one of Europe’s earliest dinosaurs, over 200 million years old, having lived in the Triassic period in Central Europe, Germany and Switzerland and one of the oldest in the world.

Considered an ancestor of the sauropods, these giant tailed and necked dinosaurs ranged in size from five to eight meters, with larger specimens that could reach 10 meters.

Visitors to the Dino Park will be able to follow the scientific work live in its laboratory.

Lourinhã’s Dino Park has already received 1.1 million visitors since its opening to the public in 2018.

With what is considered Europe’s largest themed outdoor exhibition, covering 10 hectares, it has six different routes that allow visitors to observe almost 200 full-scale models of dinosaur species, as well as animals that inhabited planet Earth 450 million years ago.

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