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Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County makes scientific history with 'pregnant plesiosaur'
Date:8/12/2011

aurs may have exhibited similar behaviors, making their social lives more similar to those of modern dolphins than other reptiles."

Plesiosaurs have no known living relatives, but were common in the world's oceans during the Age of Dinosaurs. They were among the top predators in the Western Interior Seaway, the vast, tropical body of water that split North America during the Cretaceous when waters from the Arctic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico flooded onto the continent and met.

The remarkable NHM specimen was discovered in 1987 by Charles Bonner on the Bonner Ranch in Logan County, Kansas. Virtually complete except for parts of the adult's neck and skull, the "mother" specimen and her baby were given extensive conservation by NHM and then mounted for display by Phil Fraley Productions (Patterson, NJ) with the supervision of Drs. O'Keefe and Chiappe. The specimen is currently on display in the Dinosaur Hall, the new 14,000-square-foot exhibition at NHM featuring more than 300 fossils and 20 complete mounts of dinosaurs and sea creatures.

"Like many other specimens on display and in our collection, this extremely important specimen is among the significant fossils that can be admired and studied only here in Los Angeles," Dr. Chiappe stated. "We're very proud that at NHM, these irreplaceable materials are accessible not only to research scientists but to the public, giving people the opportunity to connect the quest for knowledge with the wonder of seeing the remains of these ancient and mysterious animals."


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Contact: Kristin Friedrich
kfriedri@nhm.org
213-763-3532
Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County
Source:Eurekalert

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