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Spectacular Fossil Finds from Tanzania

Oct. 17, 2012 – Mar. 10, 2013

Tanzania is extremely rich in fossil-bearing rocks and is one of the only places on Earth to find fossil skeletons of early archosaurs—the group of animals that contains modern-day birds and crocodiles.

In summer 2012, Burke curator Christian Sidor and research associate Sterling Nesbitt participated in an international expedition to Southwest Tanzania, where a nearly complete Parringtonia skeleton was found—a truly spectacular specimen that is helping scientists better understand how some groups of vertebrates took over the world, whereas others went extinct.

The full skeleton (measuring about 29 inches in length) is on display, along with related interpretive materials. Eventually, the original materials will be returned to Tanzania. Under international agreement, the Burke is permitted to make and retain research-quality casts for ongoing work.