With a 45 foot-long Tylosaurus suspended from the ceiling and numerous marine creatures greeting you at the entrance, the new “Savage Ancient Seas” exhibit at the Museum of the Rockies will not disappoint. The exhibit opened on Saturday, Jan. 23, and features more than 30 prehistoric casts and a handful of real fossils from specimens that populated North America 70 million years ago.
“Today, one of the best places to find this ancient sea floor outcropping as fossil-bearing rock is about as far from an ocean as a person could possibly be in the United States,” explained one of the many educational kiosks stationed throughout the exhibit. “The chalk beds of Western Kansas contain the fossilized remains of Late Cretaceous creatures that would truly seem to us like sea monsters. Most of the fossil creatures you will see in this exhibit were found here.”
Highlights of the exhibit include the largest turtle that ever lived (who had a 17-foot flipper span), flying reptiles the size of hang-gliders and the biggest bony fish of the Cretaceous Period, known as the “X-fish”. Visitors can touch the replicated fossils as long as they make sure to use the provided hand sanitizer following each display. There is also a picture-worthy spot where visitors can pose inside the enormous mouth of the Megalodon cast.
“Savage Ancient Seas” will run until Sunday, May 2 and is open daily from 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. There is much more to see at the museum even after strolling through this impressive exhibit, including the “Paugh History Hall”, “Welcome to Yellowstone Country”, “Enduring Peoples” and “Siebel Dinosaur Complex,” where one can view the gigantic carnivorous Tyrannosaurus rex and a growth series of the horned Triceratops. Before leaving the museum, visitors can also experience the majesty of space in the Taylor Planetarium. Make sure to take advantage of the admission discount if you are a MSU student, staff, faculty or alumni. For more information on other exhibits and visitation policies due to COVID-19, visit https://museumoftherockies.org/.