Found: A Massive Jurassic Graveyard - Atlas Obscura
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Found: A Massive Jurassic Graveyard

23,000 square miles of Patagonia is one of the most productive fossil-hunting grounds in the world.

A fossilized cone from the Jurassic era, found in Patagonia (Photo: Brocken Inaglory/Wikimedia)

Argentina is one of the most productive fossil-hunting grounds in the world, and now paleontologists in that country have announced that they’ve found a massive new Jurassic fossil site, with more numerous and more diverse fossils from that era than anywhere else in the world.

This giant dinosaur graveyard stretches across 23,000 square miles of Patagonia and was first discovered four years ago. (Paleontologists sometimes keep the location of their discoveries secret to prevent looting.) The site contains both macro and micro-fossils: Patagonia has coughed up the fossilized bones of some of the largest dinosaurs in the world, but these finds include evidence of how fungi and worms lived more than 140 million years ago.

Patagonia is one of the few places on the planet where the conditions have been exactly right for both creating and finding fossils. Here, erosion exposes older layers of earth, and paleontologists can get a glimpse of the lost world they’re trying to understand.

Bonus finds: A severed horse headfootage of 1920s Minneapolis

Every day, we highlight one newly lost or found object, curiosity or wonder. Discover something unusual or amazing? Tell us about it! Send your finds to sarah.laskow@atlasobscura.com.