Hundreds of fossils overflow the Dinosaur Museum


Since 2004 an extension is expected that does not arrive / 10% of what is stored is not exposed

A few days ago the Torrelara excavator team has left. Catherine Arias is responsible for inventorying and ordering the 179 new pieces that arrive from the field. There's no space. The Dinosaur Museum depot has been small for years. What in the PAHIS Plan of the Heritage of Castilla y León of 2004 appeared as a large dinosaur museum, with restoration and research equipment, in coordination with the Icnitas de Soria museum, remained on paper before differences between the City Council of Salas de los Infantes and the Junta de Castilla y León. Discounts on the plot and management are stranded in the development of a project that came to have two budget items to start.

Fifteen years later in the small showcases and the four walls of the Museum of Rooms can hardly expose even 10% of the fossils recovered during all these years by the Archaeological and Paleontological Collective of Salas (CAS) and the Dinosaurs Foundation of Castilla y León , financed by the Town Hall of the locality and the Provincial Council. And the ones you see are not the most important pieces. Two of the four most spectacular dinosaur holotypes such as the Demandasaurus or Europatitan sauropods, with an 11-meter neck, are saved. "Many are attracted by those names, which have been defined here, that have their importance as Demandasaurus that confirms the transfer of dinosaurs between Africa and Europe, but where do we put them?" Laments the director of the museum, Fidel Torcida.

In the area of ​​deposit of remains, perfectly arranged in every small corner they find, with walls full of shelves, is the reconstruction of life in the Sierra de la Demanda between the Jurassic and the Cretaceous. There are remains of up to 21 different dinosaur specimens, seven types of fossils from other vertebrates and 14 plant species from 145 to 125 million years old. There are preserved remains of four holotypes, two of them of sauropods that could be exposed by having different parts of their anatomy, but they do not fit. Some pieces are disassembled "there is no space" and others are left mounted in a corner of the laboratory "because when you are studying you need it incorporated", explains Torcida.

In Torrelara, in three campaigns, more than 400 fossils have already appeared. Many large as the column of the sauropod of a ton of weight that had to be extracted from the site with a crane last summer. In a year it has not been possible to play. “We need a lot of time to restore Torrelara, they are years of work and right now we cannot assure a full-time person all year. There is a lot of work here for two or three restaurateurs, ”says Torcida. So the largest pieces are kept in municipal warehouses until the extension proposed by the City Council with its own funds is a reality.