*WARNING* Mild spoiler ahead!

If you've recently seen 'Jurassic World: Dominion',the final installment of the 'Jurassic World' franchise, you probably remember the giant dinosaur from one of the opening scenes. He looked something like this:

Credit: NBC Sports via YouTube
Credit: NBC Sports via YouTube

What you probably didn't know is that dinosaur was discovered by a paleontologist from New Jersey!

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The dinosaur is called 'Dreadnoughtus', discovered by New Jersey paleontologist Kenneth Lacovara.

NJ.com reports that Lacovara first discovered Dreadnoughtus in 2005, on his first day of an excavation. As he stood on the bone of the femur that day in Patagonia South Africa,, he had no idea that he would one day see his discovery come to life on the big screen 17 years later!

Here are all the discovered fossilized bones of this MASSIVE dino on display in a Philadelphia lab. For 3-4 months every year until 2009, Lacovara and his team lived in tents next to the excavation site, digging up bones every day. When they finally finished, they had uncovered 145 bones that weighed 16 tons altogether!

And this dinosaur was ENORMOUS.

The dinosaur was nine times the mass of a Tyrannosaurus Rex and about 10 tons heavier than a Boeing 737, Lacovara said. Considering the species’ magnitude, he said he named it “Dreadnoughtus,” which means “fears nothing.” - NJ.com

Which is fascinating, and  larger than our imaginations could conjure on their own. But if it had not been for Jurassic Foundation, which funds paleontologists’ expeditions, Dreadnoughtus would have never been discovered, and the The Jurassic World producers would have never brought it to life on the big screen. You can see it several times in the movie.

So imagine how that must have felt for Kenneth seeing his dinosaur come to life in a movie theater!

“It was surreal. I had a flashback to the desert in Patagonia when I was standing atop that very first bone, certainly never imagining that it would turn into what it has," he said. (NJ.com)

And another cool fact about this legendary paleontologist - he's the founding dean of  Rowan University’s School of Earth and Environment!

Here's where you can see 'dreadnoughtus' make its first appearance in this preview for the Beijing Winter Olympics! It gave me chills!!

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