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Dinosaur fossils discovered in Argentina receive first female name in history

I noticed my fast heartbeat. My body shivered out of excitement. Not wanting to waste any time, I quickly started to unearth the fossils with my team. The more we dug, important parts began to emerge. It became a moment of great sentiment for everyone. I felt euphoric and could not hold back my anxiety. I wanted to find all of the bones.

  • 2 weeks ago
  • January 23, 2023
4 min read
Apaldetti and her team in San Juan discovered a giant dinosaur Apaldetti and her team in San Juan discovered a giant dinosaur | Photo courtesy of Cecilia Apaldetti
Interview Subject
Cecilia Apaldetti is a paleontologist who graduated from the National University of San Juan, Argentina. She works at the Institute and Museum of Natural Sciences of the Faculty of Exact, Physical, and Natural Sciences. She is a Researcher at the National Scientific and Technical Research Council of Argentina (CONICET), a state agency dedicated to the research and promotion of science.
Background Information
Apaldetti’s great find refers to the Triassic Period, the first part of the Mesozoic era, which is the period before the time of the great Jurassic dinosaurs. A short time ago, the paleontologist and her team discovered the great Ingentia Prima, the giant dinosaur from Balde de Leyes. Their discovery showed these animals lived about 30 million years ago, earlier than expected.

Her discovery had great international media attention due to the female name given to the dinosaur, breaking the tradition of masculinizing dinosaurs.

SAN JUAN, Argentina — My team and I ventured into a forgotten paleontological land in the Balde de Leyes. Little did we know we would discover a giant dinosaur. It was a sublime moment. The entire team stood open-mouthed in shock at such well-preserved fossils. I felt overjoyed and took charge of bringing the discovery to life. I baptized the world’s earliest known giant with a female name: Ingentia Prima.

Read more archeological stories from Orato World Media.

Giant dinosaur discovered in plain sight, paleontologists celebrate in disbelief

The team arrived at a mining land where long ago, paleontologists journeyed in search of fossils. I sensed it could be an important day as I walked and smelled the fresh aroma of the land. I realized the earth had a red hue, and with every step, scarlet dust sprinkled our shoes and blended us with our surroundings.

We made our way into the Balde de Leyes to begin our search. In every expedition, we delimit an area, track it to detect possible fossils, and develop routine work. We noticed a few remains on the surface and at a visible distance, they seemed of considerable size, and their white color stood out amidst the red sediments. Clearly, we all had doubts. What if they were the remains of animals currently inhabiting the area?

A deep silence took over the entire team while a soft breeze blew over us. We worked attentively at the site. With our tools, we unearthed the remains with delicacy and patience. The team experienced an enjoyable time.

Suddenly, a Paleontology Technician noticed a trace of large bones on the surface and believed they belonged to a small animal. He tried to play a joke on us and shouted: “come see this giant dinosaur.”

Everyone ran over. We laughed loudly, assuming it was a joke. As we stood there, between giggles, we understood what lay in front of our eyes. We found a real giant dinosaur fossilized over the years! The team celebrated in shock.

Woman leads discovery, makes history

I noticed my fast heartbeat. My body shivered out of excitement. Not wanting to waste any time, I quickly started to unearth the fossils with my team. The more we dug, important parts began to emerge. It became a moment of great sentiment for everyone. I felt euphoric and could not hold back my anxiety. I wanted to find all of the bones.

Apaldetti and part of the team unearthing remains | Photo Courtesy of Cecilia Apaldetti

My team and I unearthed more and more remains, knowing we made a significant discovery. The bones looked enormous in size, an incredible and unusual discovery for the Triassic world. More importantly, we found 50 percent of the skeleton fully preserved and went excitedly to the laboratories to begin our study. I decided to take charge and bring the official discovery to life.

What a huge surprise! Just like that, we discovered Ingentia Prima: the first dinosaur baptized with a female name. I decided to give the discovery the name in support of women, and the news traveled the world. Many people approached me to learn about the female paleontologist who discovered a dinosaur. I felt thrilled and wanted to contribute to science and research, making women known. While I did not intend to create a gender division with the naming of the dinosaur – I simply wanted to give my input and offer a feminine name – we made history.

Translation Disclaimer

Translations provided by Orato World Media are intended to result in the end translated document being understandable in the end language. Although every effort is made to ensure our translations are accurate we cannot guarantee the translation will be without errors.

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