Monday, July 15, 2024

Paleontologist believes there is a wealth of fossils in Mexico

For paleontologists, Mexico is fertile ground that has yet to achieve its full potential.

But some of what has been achieved is on display at the Dinosaurs Made in Mexico exhibition at the Planetario Alfa museum in Monterrey, Nuevo Léon. It showcases some of the discoveries made over the years, especially in the northern reaches of the country.

Two people collaborated with the museum — paleontologist René Hernández Rivera and paleoartist Luis V. Rey — to bring the titans of old alive again, bridging the gap in time for the inhabitants of the same geographical region.

Hernández told the newspaper Milenio he is convinced that there exists a wealth of fossils in Mexico.

During his 40-year-career, Hernández has been involved in the main discoveries in his field, such as the 1988 expedition in Parras de la Fuente, Coahuila, that resulted in the assembly of the first Mexican dinosaur.

Since then, he has dedicated his career to spreading the word about the nine unique dinosaur species found in Mexico, and 20 others that, while discovered elsewhere, have close ties to the country.

Work by paleoartist Luis V. Rey.
Work by paleoartist Luis V. Rey.

Hernández believes there still is a lot of work to do in terms of research and public outreach, efforts that should be coupled with the fight against fossil poachers.

Luis V. Rey’s work is more interpretative than factual, because other than the fossilized bones artists like him have little more than some hints of scales, plumage, musculature and colors to imagine the true appearance of the dinosaurs.

Through collaboration with other specialists over the course of 20 years, he now offers a different picture of what dinosaurs might have looked like.

Thanks to scientific study “we observed that it was quite possible that the dinosaurs had a relationship with the birds, as has been accepted today,” said the artist and illustrator.

“Dinosaurs were not monsters,” he continued, “they were living creatures. Movies nowadays have taken advantage of scientific progress to turn them into the monstrous icons the public expects them to be, but that has got to change.”

Dinosaurs Made in Mexico includes large-scale posters of Rey’s art, as well as animatronic dinosaurs and an area where children can join an excavation site and dig for fossils.

The exhibition is located in the museum’s third floor and entrance is included in the 120-peso (just over US $6) ticket. The museum is open Tuesdays to Fridays between 2:30 and 7:00pm, and between 10:30am and 7:00pm on weekends.

Source: Milenio (sp)

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