Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences reopens a century old crime scene

RBINS, which has been the home of 30 iguanodons since their discovery in 1878, hopes that modern technology can help settle the question of how this herd of dinosaurs died. Through the previous decades, several hypotesis have been proposed but none has ever been widely accepted.

During the next four years, a team of researchers from the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences, Mons University and the Free University of Brussels will re-examine all the possible scenarios with the help of 3D scans of the fossils, geological maps of recently discovered excavation sites and information provided by two core samples that were removed in 2002 at the exact spot where the iguanodons were found. Scientists will also examine 3,000 fish fossils and analyse pollen and isotopes to find out if the environment changed drastically 125 million years ago” explains the Belgian institute. The team of scientists assigned to the case actually have a new theory they wish to explore: fast-acting poisoning caused by a toxic gas.

The 30 iguanodons collection of RBINS is rather unique and has been invaluable to palaeontology. In June 2015, the international news broadcaster CNN ranked the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences 3rd best Dinosaur Museum in the world (Museum für Naturkunde Berlin, another CETAF member, was actually ranked as #1).


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