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Pietraroja Paleontological Site

The uniqueness of the "deposits" of Pietraroja is ascertained above all as far as fish, amphibians, and reptiles are concerned.
In the limestone and ichthyolites there are more than 20 species of lagoonal fish, fish of freshwater, of brackish and open sea water, all marvelously preserved with well-evident scales and fishbones.
Among the amphibians, a wonderful ancestor specimen of the current salamanders and among the reptiles two specimens of crocodiles and the famous dinosaur whelp (max. size 30 cm), known as "Ciro".
The dinosaur of Pietraroja had affinities with Velociraptor (reconstructed in the movie Jurassic Park), and the adult could reach the size of three - four meters. The shape and the size of the skull, the set of teeth rich in pointed teeth, and the limbs lead to think that it was a rather evolved carnivorous animal. It had a rather developed digestive apparatus, and if you are careful you can also see the trace of the liver; the big nail of the legs which probably worked as an assault instrument are marked. The paleontologists Dal Sasso and Signore, who studied first the dinosaur fossil, determined its age in 113 million of years.
Several finds are preserved in a small Museum situated in the nearby Municipality of Cusano Mutri.
Thanks to the find of Scypionix Samniticus and to its perfect fossilization, researchers have given new vigor to the study of the whole Park area.

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