Scipionyx Samniticus – Pietraroja, the lagoon of dinosaurs

Description of the exhibition : Scipionyx Samniticus – Pietraroja, the lagoon of dinosaurs

The exhibition is located in comune di Pietraroja in the province of Benevento.

The permanent palaeontological exhibition is linked to the findings from the Samnite area and the Pietraroja deposit where the dinosaur fossil Scipionyx Samniticus, nicknamed ‘Cyrus’, was discovered in 1980.

One room of the exhibition is dedicated to the display of fossils found in the area of fish, shrimps, fossils such as shells and starfish, and the other room is dedicated to the display of the dinosaur fossil Scypionix Samniticus, whose story is told by an explanatory video. The environment in which it lived has been reconstructed around it.

This small fossil reptile is unique because of the strange proportions of its body, such as its huge eyes, short snout and the small size of its skeleton of only 23cm (a clear indication of immaturity). It is assumed that Cyrus was only 4-5 weeks old and that his death was due to drowning.

The excellent state of preservation of the fossil has been studied by countless scientists, who have even managed to determine its last meal before fossilisation: even the eggshell containing it is visible, and its internal organs, teeth and nails can be seen with the naked eye.



Via Civita, 82030 Pietraroja BN

Opening hours

Temporarily closed, possible reopening in 2022


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