German Museum Will Have to Return Dinosaur Fossil to Brazil

Other Brazilian specimens in the institution's possession will be the subject of investigation

The Natural History Museum in Karlsruhe, Germany, will be return to Brazil the fossil of the dinosaur Ubirajara jubatus, taken from the country by foreign researchers.

The decision was made by the Council of Ministers of the Baden-Württemberg region, which accepted a request made by the Minister of Science, Theresia Bauer.

Ubirajara jubatus is named after a Tupi Indian name for ‘lord of the spear’, in reference to the creature’s stiffened, elongate integumentary structures, and jubatus from the Latin meaning ‘maned’ or ‘crested’
Ubirajara jubatus ’ - Concepção artística de Bob Nicholls / 2020.

According to the ministry's assessment, there are serious doubts about the legality of the acquisition of the fossil and its importation by Germany.

There will be research on other Brazilian specimens in the museum's possession. They can also be repatriated.

According to a report in the German newspaper Badische Neueste Nachrichten, the German science ministry was irritated by the "unacceptable scientific misconduct of the museum," which caused serious reputational damage to the institution and the country.

In the last 18 months, since the species was presented in a scientific article for the first time, the exotic image of the Ubirajara jubatus, with abundant feathers and four stems "hanging" from its shoulders, has become the symbol of the fight against the international trafficking of fossils.

Translated by Kiratiana Freelon

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