Brussels welcomes a new dinosaur


The Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences has a new star. His name is Dan, a long-necked herbivorous dinosaur measuring around 20 meters in length.

Dan was largely unearthed during the 2018 and 2019 excavations in Wyoming, in which Belgian palaeontologists from the RBINS took part. He will now take up residence in Brussels, after living in those western plains of the United States approximately 155 million years ago.

What is so special about him?

As well as having a still partially jointed skeleton composed of bones of excellent quality, Dan should be about 85% complete, which makes him all the more rare. The museum considers him one of the best preserved diplodocine specimens found to date and he may even be a representative of a new species of "diplo", a cousin of diplodocus (a long-necked, long-tailed herbivorous dinosaur).

If you are planning to visit him, be patient, as he won't be on his feet for at least two years. Some of the 200 to 300 pieces of the puzzle that make up his skeleton are still in Germany and the United States. A restoration team is already at work in the Institute's cellars to bring him back to life and learn more about the dinosaur and his mysterious identity.

At the end of 2024, Dan will join the gallery of dinosaurs, one of the most beautiful in Europe according to palaeontologist Pascal Godefroit. He will be joined in the museum's display cases by Arkhane, an allosaurus already well known to visitors.