Meet the Arrudatitan: São Paulo’s very own dinosaur

First discovered in 1997, the specimen was originally believed to be a relative of the Aeolosaurus, but new research shows it came from a completely different genus, exclusive to São Paulo

arrudatitan maximus monte alto brazil dinosaur
Fossils of the Arrudatitan maximus. Photo: Monte Alto Paleontology Museum

One morning in 1997, fruit seller Ademir Frare and his 12-year-old nephew Luiz Augusto dos Santos Frare were on one of their regular walks around the rural fields of Cândido Rodrigues, in São Paulo state. The pair had a passion for fossil hunting, so they were left with mouths agape when they came across a bone. Immediately, they began excavating, uncovering vertebrae, ribs, and limb bones, many of them still connected. Giddy with excitement, they called Antônio Celso de Arruda Campos, a paleontology professor in the nearby town of Monte Alto.

The fossils were recovered and taken to the Monte...

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