It’s 1982, and paleontologist Vladimir Efimov has just stumbled across three giant vertebrae buried in a Russian cliff. Then some 20 years later, another researcher decides to reexamine the bones. By now, though, a further four fossils have been added to the collection – revealing the long-ago existence of a massive reptile that weighed over 17 tons.
Although they roamed the Earth millions of years ago, dinosaurs of course continue to captivate our imaginations in the present day. Many, including the fearsome Tyrannosaurus rex and the long-necked, herbivorous Diplodocus, are instantly recognizable too. And this fact is surely at least in part thanks to the creatures’ starring roles in numerous museum exhibits and movies.
But despite the high-profile place of dinosaurs in contemporary culture, there are still a great many things about these prehistoric beasts that we don’t know. There are, in fact, over 1,000 different types of dinosaur currently recognized by scientists. Yet it’s likely that there are a whole lot more just waiting to be discovered.