'Live' fossil preparation set April 9 at NU State Museum

Released on 03/16/2005, at 12:00 AM
Office of University Communications
University of Nebraska–Lincoln

WHEN: Saturday, Apr. 9, 2005

WHERE: University of Nebraska State Museum, Morrill Hall, 14th and U Streets

Lincoln, Neb., March 16th, 2005 —

Visitors to the University of Nebraska State Museum on the afternoon of April 9 will be able to watch paleontologists prepare part of a 70 million-year-old plesiosaur fossil.

NU State Museum highway salvage paleontologists Bruce Bailey and Shane Tucker will be working on a block that contains neck vertebrae from a plesiosaur found in Knox County in May 2003. From 1 to 4 p.m., visitors will be able to watch and ask questions as Bailey and Tucker chip away rock to reveal the fossilized bone within the block.

Plesiosaurs were large, long-necked marine reptiles that grew to be as long as 60 feet and became extinct 65 million years ago at the end of the Mesozoic Era.

This particular plesiosaur fossil was excavated from a site within the present boundaries of the Santee Sioux Nation in northeast Nebraska. It was found on state highway right-of-way near the town of Center. The excavation was conducted by University of Nebraska State Museum paleontologists in the Highway Salvage Paleontology Program, which is funded by the Nebraska Department of Roads.

Admission to the NU State Museum is $8 for families, $4 for individual adults and $2 for children, or free with a valid UNL ID or Friends of the Museum membership. For more information, telephone (402) 472-2642 or visit the NU State Museum Web site (www.museum.unl.edu).

CONTACT: Willo Stuart, NU State Museum, (402) 472-3779