HISTORY ITINERARIES: Baron Franz Nopcsa


History Forgot This Rogue Aristocrat Who Discovered Dinosaurs and Died Penniless

Now fallen into shadow, the Romania-born Baron Franz Nopcsa was a groundbreaking scientist, adventurer — and would-be king

Natural History Museum in London

An intriguing collection is that from the very latest Cretaceous of Romania, collected by the eccentric, but brilliant, palaeontologist Franz Nopcsa von Felső-Szilvás, which includes the remains of dwarfed dinosaurs.

Franz Nopcsa von Felső-Szilvás collection
The Nopcsa collection, dating from 1906, contains small iguanodontians, hadrosaurs and sauropods from the Late Cretaceous of Romania.

The collection contains the first known examples of dwarf dinosaurs found from anywhere in the world. These dinosaurs, which are descendants of much larger animals, reached their small sizes as they evolved on the small islands that made up this region during the Late Cretaceous.

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