Rubén Darío Carolini was born on April 29, 1944, in Oncativo, a province of Córdoba, Argentina. He spent his formative years in Oncativo, growing up with a keen interest in the natural world.
In the late 1960s, Carolini began his professional journey not as a paleontologist but as a mechanic. He was involved in the construction of the El Chocón dam in the province of Neuquén. Following this, he continued working at Hidronor S.A., the public company responsible for managing the hydroelectric plant of the dam.
While working as a mechanic, Carolini’s fascination for paleontology never waned. He conducted amateur fossil hunts, mainly in the Cretaceous sites around Chocón. Throughout this period, he collaborated closely with established paleontologists in the area, particularly those from the University of Comahue and the Plaza Huincul Museum.
Discovery of the Giganotosaurus
Carolini’s most remarkable achievement came in 1993 when he discovered the fossil remains of the carcharodontosaurid theropod dinosaur Giganotosaurus. This find was monumental in the field of paleontology and catapulted him to international fame.
Contributions to Museology
Carolini was not just a fossil hunter; he was also an advocate for science education and public awareness. He was one of the leading figures behind the establishment of the Ernesto Bachmann Museum. From its inception in 1995, Carolini served as the museum’s director until 2008.
Final Years and Legacy
Rubén Darío Carolini passed away on September 9, 2023, at the age of 79. His contributions to the field of paleontology, particularly the discovery of the Giganotosaurus, have left an indelible mark on our understanding of prehistoric life.