Museums: Dino fossil officially returned to Brazil

A dinosaur fossil that was illegally brought to Germany has officially been returned to Brazil.

Museums: Dino fossil officially returned to Brazil

A dinosaur fossil that was illegally brought to Germany has officially been returned to Brazil. The fossilized bones of the dinosaur Ubirajara jubatus were handed over to the Paleontological Museum Plácido Cidade Nuvens in the state of Ceará, reported the news portal G1.

"The history of this specimen and the way the matter was handled after the publication of its description was very unfortunate," said Julien Kimmig of the Natural History Museum in Karlsruhe, where the fossil was last kept. "Therefore, the entire new team at the museum's geosciences department is very pleased that we were able to support the efforts to return the Ubirajara fossil to Brazil."

Ubirajara jubatus is from the Cretaceous period and lived about 110 to 115 million years ago. The carnivore, which is only about one meter tall, is said to be the first feathered but flightless dinosaur of the southern hemisphere. The fossil was found in a quarry in the state of Ceará in northeastern Brazil and brought to Germany in 1995. Most recently it belonged to the collection of the Natural History Museum in Karlsruhe. Experts in Brazil claimed the fossil was illegally taken out of the country.

Initially, the Baden-Württemberg Ministry of Science took the position that there was no evidence that the Natural History Museum in Karlsruhe had illegally acquired the petrified remains. In July last year, however, it announced that the museum had given incorrect information about the import of the fossil. The ministry explained that the museum was unable to provide any documents from Brazilian authorities that would prove the declaration and customs clearance of the fossil when it was exported. In particular, there is no export license from Brazil.

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