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Auca Mahuida and the hidden treasure See map

Fossilized dinosaur eggs

More than 200 kilometers from the capital of the province of Neuquén and few from Añelo at the base of Auca Mahuida dead volcano, is one of the last surviving stocks of guanacos in Patagonia. There, they stand the houses early in the century gave life to a mining town that bore the name of the enormous mass which is 2215 meters high, which constitutes one of the highest peaks in northern Neuquén.

From town, along with a few rustic buildings, there are still offices of the company which operated the coal mine that once gave prosperity to this piece of Patagonian desert. Only one family remains in this space that the locals simply call "La Mina", which are descendants of the first miners arrived in the region.

Auca Mahuida is a forgotten place, extreme temperatures and is away from everything. But it is also a great place that hides the legends of the miners and the secrets of birth and death of sauropod dinosaurs.

In 1997, paleontologists Luis Chiappe (Natural History Museum of Los Angeles) and Rodolfo Coria (director of Carmen Funes Museum in Plaza Huincul) initiated the first scientific expedition through this area, after carefully analyzing the geologic maps of the region.

The results could not be more encouraging, the scientists found the largest site of herbivores dinosaur eggs on record. The place is something of a sanctuary at a certain time of year legion of dinosaurs met with the ceremony of laying their eggs on the sandy side of larger streams and rivers.

Some of the fossilized eggs contain embryos of dinosaurs, and there are fossilized skin against egg-skin. There is also an egg that has the skull and teeth of the creature ever born.

These are sauropod dinosaurs of the Cretaceous period that are after their rescue under the microscope of the major research centers in Argentina and the United States, where they hope to determine the secrets of birth and death of the giants.

In the early months of 2000 a multidisciplinary team led by Chiappe and Coria found a fossilized nest eggs for more than 80 million years that was armed as it was left by its parents. The study of the nest revealed many secrets about the reproductive habits of the sauropods, which at birth was 15 cm long but in adulthood exceeded 20 meters.

In the 2000 campaign, also found two fossils of sauropod dinosaurs that could well be that laid some of the hundreds of eggs.

At some point, the nests were covered by mud and water and so the conditions were for the preservation of eggs, which had a capacity of 900 cubic centimeters each.

For the scientific community, after the discovery, Auca Mahuida was renamed as Auca Mahuevo, an incredible place, of impossible roads with guanacos beside, there are huge unexplored caves, Indian paintings and the dead mine gave it success 40 years ago.

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