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Media / Application stories / Atlascopcosaurus celebrates 30th anniversary

Atlascopcosaurus celebrates 30th anniversary


Not every company has a dinosaur species officially named after it! Atlas Copco was awarded that privilege 30 years ago when a newly discovered plant-eating species of dinosaur was given the generic name Atlascopcosaurus. The gesture honored the company for supporting archaeological research carried out for some years by paleontologist Dr. Thomas H. Rich at Dinosaur Cove, Victoria, Australia.  

An estimated 2–4 meters long and weighing about 125 kilos, Atlascopcosaurus loadsi belonged to the Hypsilophodontidae family and lived during the early Cretaceous Period, 100–120 million years ago. The specific name loadsi refers to Bill Loads, Atlas Copco's manager in Victoria who made the decision to support the project.

Hundreds of volunteers
Dinosaur Cove, an area rich in fossil finds, is on the southeast coast of Australia, close to Victoria. Dr. Thomas H. Rich from the Museum of Victoria and Patricia Vickers-Rich from Monash University led research projects here for a period of 10 years. During his first visit to the area in 1980, Dr. Rich and two colleagues discovered fragments of rock-embedded bone. Four years later, a group made up of hundreds of student volunteers, paleontology scientists and miners began excavations. Atlas Copco was among those involved and, during the next few years, contributed equipment and expert assistance to the project.

A daunting task
The fossils were embedded in layers of sand, mud and clay, which over a period of more than one-hundred million years had been pressed together into hard rock. To free one kilo of dinosaur bone, approximately 30 kilos of hard rock had to be removed. The scientists often worked in dark, narrow tunnels, which at times were muddy and slippery. Work was complicated by the excavation site being close to a steep cliff that dropped down to the sea.
Impressively reliable equipment
In conducting excavations, the research group's equipment included Atlas Copco rock drills of various sizes, pneumatic tools and compressors. Thomas H. Rich said he was grateful for the support Atlas Copco provided and impressed with the reliability of the equipment.
It was because of that record of reliability that, when much later in 2007 I excavated an experimental tunnel to recover dinosaurs from permafrost on the North Slope of Alaska, I insisted on having Atlas Copco equipment to do the job.”

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Atlas Copco is a world-leading provider of sustainable productivity solutions. The Group serves customers with innovative compressors, vacuum solutions and air treatment systems, construction and mining equipment, power tools and assembly systems. Atlas Copco develops products and service focused on productivity, energy efficiency, safety and ergonomics. The company was founded in 1873, is based in Stockholm, Sweden, and has a global reach spanning more than 180 countries. In 2013, Atlas Copco had revenues of BSEK 84 (BEUR 9.7) and more than 40 000 employees.
Atlas Copco Construction Tools is a division within Atlas Copco´s Construction Technique business area. It develops, manufactures and markets hydraulic, pneumatic, and petrol-driven equipment for demolition, recycling, compaction, rock drilling and concrete applications. Products are marketed and sold under several brands through a worldwide sales and service organisation. The division is headquartered in Essen, Germany, and has production units in Europe, Africa and Asia.