On September 2, 2018, the National Museum of Brazil (Museu Nacional) was gutted by fire. 2018 was the Museu Nacional’s 200th year.
This post is one of series in which I discuss an important specimens that may have been lost to science in the blaze.
Alexander Kellner and Sergio de Azevedo described a new genus (and species) of sauropod dinosaur called Gonwanatitan. As sauropods go, Gondwanatitan was pretty small, only about 7 meters in length.
Only one species of Gondwanatitan is known, Gondwanatitan faustoi, named after Dr. Fausto L. de Souza Cunha, a former curator at the Museu Nacional and a person deeply involved in the excavation of this important specimen.
The fossil material used to define this new species (MN 4111-V) is housed in the paleovertebrate section of the Museu Nacional. At least we hope the specimens are still there.
Kellner and Azevedo, 1999, A new sauropod dinosaur (Titanosauria) the the Late Cretaceous of Brazil, in Tomida, Rich, and Vickers-Rich, eds., Proceedings of the Second Gondwanan Dinosaur Symposium: National Science Museum Monographs, no. 15, p. 111-142