Thursday, April 06, 2006

Stormer's Spinosaurus Found

This photograph of Spinosaurus found by Josh Smith in a German museum is the only photographic proof of German researcher Ernst Stromer's discovery of this now famous [post-Jurassic Park III] dinosaur. All but Stromer's drawings of his find were lost when the Allies bombed the Munich museum where the materials were held. The photo is significant historically but also as a comparison of Stromer's drawing for a significant understanding of the species' skeleton.

Smith reports in an upcoming issue of the Journal of Paleontology of the rediscovery of two photographs of the holotype of Spinosaurus aegyptiacus as it was reposited in the Palaontologische Staatssammlung Munchen prior to 1944, and later presumably lost in the Allied bombing.

In June, 2000, while researching in Germany, Smith happened upon the photographs in the Palaontologische archives of the Museum, after Ernst Stromer's son, Wolfgang Stromer, donated them to the museum in 1995.

"These are, to our knowledge, the only surviving photographs of this, the one irrefutable specimen of S. aegyptiacus, which, prior to the initial print releases, has only been represented by Stromer's drawings," said Smith. "This is a significant find from the perspective of the history of paleontology."