now open to the public
Villa Chiozza di Cervignano, 7 August 2018 – Rocks bearing the remains of Bruno were uncovered more than twenty years ago, at the same time as the excavation of Antonio, the first dinosaur found in Friuli Venezia Giulia, in Villaggio del Pescatore, by Duino Aurisina outside Trieste. The necessary preparatory work had never been done on the fossil skeleton but that changed recently thanks to technicians from the firm Zoic, led by geologist Flavio Bacchia. While the tail is still preserved in the ground, the skull was recently extracted and prepared, meaning that Italy’s biggest and mostly complete dinosaur can finally be seen, albeit in this still partial but almost final version.
The fossil is on display at the PromoTurismoFVG infopoint in Sistiana (Sistiana 56/B – 34011 Duino Aurisina) until Sunday 19 August, Monday to Friday from 3pm-6pm, Saturday and Sunday 10am to 1pm and 2pm to 6pm. Entrance to the exhibition and guided tour costs 3 euro, or combined ticket costing 8 euro provides additional access to the fossil site in Villaggio del Pescatore, which is open on Sundays and holidays from 4.30pm to 8.30pm. Children under age 6 enter free. Guided tours of the exhibition andfossil site are provided by the Gemina cooperative, available on Saturdays from 4.30pm to 8pm, or bookable on request for other times (info line: 334 7463432 – firstname.lastname@example.org).
In recent weeks, Bruno’s features began to take shape thanks to the work of technicians from the Zoic firm,commissioned by the Superintendence for Archaeology, Fine Arts and Landscape in Friuli Venezia Giulia, the body that authorized the excavation and preparation of the skull (which took three people four months and more than 2,000 hours of work), allowing the rocks containing the fossil to be pieced together and a picture to be formed of the overall structure.
Bruno is a hadrosaurid, similar to Antonio (the first dinosaur found in Villaggio del Pescatore), around 5 metres in length, making him more than one metre longer than his “brother”, with a weight of about 600kg and more than 70 million years old. He is definitely an adult example of the species but researchers are unable to be more precise at this time. Preparation of the animal – which followed standard procedures used in the late 90s (mechanical removal then spraying with formic acid) – proved to be extremely complex due to fragmentation of the fossil. Some parts were not uncovered in the original dig and will be restored in a final stage of the excavation.
Interestingly, the fossil was located in a fold in the ground layers which bent it 180° around itself. The explanation for this unusual geological conformation twisting the dinosaur is not known yet. The fragmented nature of the fossil made chemical preparation operations extremely delicate, and to prevent any adverse effects, the percentage of acid used was reduced from 8% to 4% as a precaution. This meant the work took longer but allowed each step to be calibrated with more precision. Another factor which complicated the process was the partial disarticulation of the skeleton while being anatomically linked, one of unique features of the fossils found in this site.