Dinosaur gets bath at Museum of Natural History
A massive dinosaur got a bath at the American Museum of Natural History on Tuesday, and visitors were allowed to watch for the first time ever.
The dusty 19-foot tall, 122-foot-long titanosaur Patagotitan mayorum — the largest species ever to walk the Earth — was scrubbed with a brush and vacuumed by a worker who was hoisted on a lift to hard-to-reach spots.
Early results of the cleaning, which takes roughly a full day, dazzled some young visitors.
“It looks nice and shiny and pretty to look at!” said 10-year-old Srihari Muralidharan of Fremont, Calif.
To make the long-necked herbivore sparkle, cleaner Trenton Duerksen used a dusting wand and vacuum pack with a hose to gently suck away dirt and grime, said Dean Markosian, who oversees exhibit maintenance work. The museum doesn’t use soap and water, which could damage the rare display.
“We just want to make it look as good as it can and for it to be as easy as possible for our visitors to really see it. We get any dust that starts to accumulate off of there, and people just kind of appreciate it better,” Markosian said.
The 69-ton behemoth lived about 102 million years ago near Argentina and Patagonia. Last year, scientists dubbed it the biggest animal ever to roam the Earth, according to National Geographic.
The animal is generally cleaned at the museum once a year, but its brush-up hasn’t previously been open to the public.