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Meet Arkhane: Newly discovered dinosaur species goes on display in Brussels
A newly discovered species of dinosaur is going on display in Brussels from today.
Named Arkhane, the almost nine-metre-long super predator weighing about a tonne was able to run 50km a hour and was unearthed in Wyoming in 2014.
For the next 11 months, visitors to the Natural Sciences Museum will have the unique opportunity to see the dinosaur up-close. The stunning display is made without a glass separation to permit a very intimate experience for the viewer.
This exhibition is born from controversy. Many paleontologists are dead-set against the private ownership of dinosaurs as the prices reached on the open market are prohibitive for most public museums and they see this as a permanent loss for science and the public.
When the auction at the Eiffel Tower of this extraordinary find was announced in 2018 there was a huge outcry from the world of paleontology which demanded the cancellation of the sale. In fact the buyer had no intention of hiding it away, but rather wanted it expertly appraised and made accessible to the greatest number of people possible.
Considering the stellar worldwide reputation of the Royal Belgian Institute for Natural Sciences (IRSNB) in paleontology, the owner asked the IRSNB to examine and identify it and ascertain that it indeed is a new species and also to make it available to the general public.
The museum team got to work and was able to examine it, establish that the skeleton was 70% complete (therefore not a composite but truly one individual), determine that it is a previously unknown species, and to mount it for display, all in only six months.
Its preliminary findings were officially announced on Monday. It is of the genus Allosaurus but this new species is still officially unnamed as its description has not yet been published in a specialised publication.
Belgian car racing icon Jacky Ickx, the project’s godfather, standing in for the owner who wishes to remain anonymous, was at the unveiling. At the ribbon-cutting ceremony, he likened himself to a dinosaur.