It was right under our noses

You'd probably know if, say, a giraffe were wandering around your neighborhood, right? But have you heard about the museum that wasn't aware of the dinosaur skeleton in its own collection? It's true, and all the more curious considering that the massive beast had been housed there since 1962. As news reports have it, curator Gordon Edmund of the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) in Toronto acquired the 150 million-year-old Barosaurus in a trade with Pittsburgh's Carnegie Museum of Natural History. But the 80-foot-long skeleton was too big for the available exhibit space, so its bones eventually found their way to various storage racks and drawers. And after Edmund retired, no one else on the staff remembered them. But since then, the ROM has added on and scheduled an Age of Dinosaurs show to open Dec. 15. The only problem: no Barosaurus to complement its Tyrannosaurus rex, Triceratops, and Stegasaurus specimens. That is, not until another curator took a field trip to Wyoming to see a skeleton still in the ground. On the way, he read a scientific paper that happened to reference the Barosaurus bones at the ROM. Once back in Toronto, he went looking for them. What he found is 45 percent of the complete skeleton, but it's still the largest in the world assembled from fossilized bones. No word on what else may be lying around that hasn't been discovered yet.

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