A 110-million-year-old dinosaur fossil, which was illegally taken from Brazil to Germany, has returned to the country after almost three years of controversy, official sources announced this Monday (5).
“The fossil Ubirajara jubatus, the first non-avian dinosaur with structures similar to feathers found in South America, returned to Brazil this Sunday (4) and was taken to the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (MCTI), in Brasília”, reported the folder on its website.
The Ubirajara jubatus arrived in Brazil along with a delegation from the German government on an official visit, led by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Annalena Baerbock.
It is the fossil of a dinosaur the size of a chicken covered in feathers that inhabited the interior of Ceará.
Until now, it was in the Natural History Museum in Karlsruhe, in southeastern Germany.
The specimen, stored in two yellow boxes measuring approximately half a meter by half a meter and weighing 11.5 kilos, will be part of the collection of the Plácido Cidade Nuvens Museum of Paleontology in Ceará, an entity that belongs to the Regional University of Cariri.
The controversy, which led Brazil to recover the specimen, began in December 2020, when a scientific journal described the new species, found, in the 1990s, by foreign researchers in Ceará and taken for studies in Germany shortly afterwards.
The publication revealed that no Brazilian scientist participated in the study, showing that the fossil had left the country irregularly.
Since 1942, Brazilian legislation establishes that fossils are State property and cannot be sold. Official authorization is also required for them to leave the country.
Brazilian scientists then started a campaign on social networks asking for the return of the specimen, with the motto #UbirajarabelongstoBR (Ubirajara belongs to Brazil), so that Germany would return the fossil.
“The MCTI spared no efforts to make Ubirajara’s return possible. However, without the mobilization of the Brazilian scientific community, we would not be successful. The German government was sensitive to our request and, all together, we achieved this victory”, said the Secretary of Science and Technology for Social Development, Inácio Arruda, in a press release.
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