New Fossil Exhibit Unveiling
Something BIG is coming to the North Dakota Heritage Center & State Museum in Bismarck on Friday, April 27. At 10 a.m., the public is invited to a news conference and plesiosaur exhibit opening, featuring a 10-foot partial cast, vertebrae specimen, and wall mural in the Adaptation Gallery: Geologic Time's Underwater World exhibit. At 10:30 a.m., children can join a prehistoric fishing session in the Great Plains Theater. All events are free, and children should be accompanied by an adult.
A plesiosaur is a long-necked marine reptile that lived in North Dakota 80 million years ago. It was similar in appearance to the Loch Ness monster of Scottish folklore. The new permanent exhibit will feature an acrylic and oil mural by paleontologist Becky Barnes depicting a swimming plesiosaur, as well as a neck vertebrae and skull cast extending from the wall. Fifteen plesiosaur neck vertebrae fossils, discovered in the mid-1990s in southwest North Dakota, also will be on display. This specimen comprises the most bones from a single plesiosaur found in North Dakota to date.
The prehistoric fishing session at 10:30 a.m. will be led by Barnes and paleontologist Jeff Person. Preschool and elementary-age children can help catch life-size animals from the prehistoric seas in this fun time-traveling activity in the Great Plains Theater.
The Underwater World exhibit and related activities are a partnership between the State Historical Society of North Dakota and the North Dakota Geological Survey.