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Dinosaur fossil makes debut at Tucson Gem Show PDF Print E-mail
Written by Adriana Desiderio   
Friday, 24 February 2012 17:58

The dinosaur replica is the biggest to ever visit Tucson.

Tracie Bennitt, sales and marketing director for Trie Bold Palaeontology, explained how the dinosaur was put together.

"Start out with the legs, put the legs up, the pelvis goes on, string the vertebrae, put the head on, put the tail on and ta-da! Less than four hours they had it up," Bennitt said.

Paleontologists molded and cast the original dinosaur bones to create the replica. This was not an easy task considering

its previous handling at the University of Wyoming college museum.

"It was discovered back in 1901 and was mounted up in Wyoming in the 1950s," Bennitt said. "So it was held together with chicken wire, brick mortar, plaster paris, bubble gum, you name it, it was on that dinosaur because it was at a university college museum."

This is visitor Ivan Aranguren's seventh gem show and even he could not help but stare at the Apatosaurus.

"This is the best exhibition that I've ever seen before. In the 20 years I lived in Tucson this is the biggest that I've ever seen," Aranguren said. "I'm impressed that this whole exhibition is so detailed and so huge."

But people do not come from all over the world to just look at the dinosaurs, they also hope for a chance to purchase some of the rare fossils at the show.

The fossils do not come cheap. A triceratops head costs 250,000 dollars alone; that is without factoring how much the rest of the body would cost.

Bennitt found that social networking plays an active role in Trie Bold Paleontology's success.

"I have a database of over 3000 clients that we have from all around the world, Bennitt said. "Send a big splash out to them and used facebook and twitter, social networking, it works!"

Visitors are not the only ones that come from near and far to see the Tucson Gem Shows, exhibitors come from all around the world to show people their fossils.

German exhibitor Herbert Kanodel says fossils have always been in his life.

"We've got a very old church and there was a fossil in one of the walls there and I chiseled it out, I was 10 years old," Kanodel said. "That was my first piece and ever since I collected fossils."

Kanodel brings his amber and lithograph fossils to the gem show every year in hopes of selling to collectors.

The gem shows in Tucson have a huge effect on the city's economy. The gem show alone generates about $76.5 million each year.


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