April 24th

On this day in dinosaurs, it’s about death and birth.

1944 – British bomb Stromer’s Spinosaurus

One of the most fateful nights in dinosaur paleontology transpired on this day in 1944. During a nighttime raid over Germany, the British bombed Munich, destroying Ernst Stromer’s prized Saharan dinosaurs–including one of the most enigmatic predators of the Mesozoic, Spinosaurus aegypticus.

The only surviving photograph of Stromer’s Spinosaurus display / National Geographic

While new research is attempting to shed even more light on the bewildering carnivore, the original skeleton is lost forever. Amidst the countless human tragedies of war are irreplaceable losses to the scientific enterprise.

It is with some optimism that paleontologists from both sides of World War II joined together to begin piecing together the most recent Spinosaurus skeleton. Their work is a reminder of what can be accomplished across national borders.

1984 – Stephen Brusatte born

We also want to wish Stephen Brusatte a very happy birthday today. Keep up the roaringly good work.


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