The organs of Ciro, the first Italian dinosaur, have been reconstructed in 3D

Reconstructed in 3D the internal organs of little Ciro, the first Italian dinosaur as well as one of the best preserved specimens in the world, which conquered the cover of Nature on March 26th 25 years ago. The anatomical model, previewed at ANSA together with the first scans of the ‘B side’ of the fossil, will be presented on Saturday at the Natural History Museum in Milan, during a meeting open to the public which will involve the paleontologists who studied the find and who , through unpublished images and videos, will explain why its discovery still represents a watershed in dinosaur knowledge.

Ciro (Scipionyx samniticus), found in Pietraroia in the Benevento area, is a unique specimen due to the exceptional state of conservation of its internal organs, never seen before in a dinosaur. The paleontologists Cristiano Dal Sasso (already first author of the article in Nature) and Simone Maganuco, thanks to innovative techniques such as UV light, CT and scanning electron microscopy, have discovered that the internal organs of Scipionyx are fossilized in an exceptional way even at a cellular and subcellular level, so much so that after 110 million years we can see muscle cells, blood vessels, capillaries and even the bacteria and food remains contained in the intestine.

3D reconstruction of the internal anatomy of Scipionyx, created on the computer by paleoartist Fabio Manucci (source: © Fabio Manucci)

Many details that emerged from this study can be appreciated in the digital anatomical model that will be presented on Saturday by paleoartist Fabio Manucci, but new discoveries are also expected from the first scans of the ‘B side’ of the fossil (the one hidden in the calcareous matrix), authorized by the Superintendence of Benevento and carried out by Lucia Pappalardo and Gianmarco Buono of the Microtomography Laboratory at the Vesuvius Observatory of the National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology (Ingv). “These virtual slices will be reassembled by computer to see Ciro’s organs in the round, no longer deformed by fossilization”, explains Dal Sasso. “This is a unique opportunity to better understand the anatomy of dinosaurs and study in detail how the transition from reptiles to birds took place,” concludes Matteo Fabbri, an Italian paleontologist who currently works at the Field Museum in Chicago.

Source: Ansa

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