Dinosaur exhibit at Gallipolis | News, Sports, Jobs

The Manitoba pliosaur is a new, undescribed species of short-necked plesiosaur and is an example of one of many predators featured in the Savage Ancient Seas exhibit at the Bossard Library in Gallipolis. These marine predators dominated the seas millions of years ago. (Photo provided)

GALLIPOLIS, Ohio — The world’s largest exhibit of marine paleontology featuring mounted fossils up to 45 feet long will be on display until December 31 at the Dr. Samuel L. Bossard Memorial Library in Gallipolis.

Savage Ancient Seas is an interactive exhibit produced by Embedded Exhibitions and part of Triebold Paleontology Inc. headquartered at the Rocky Mountain Dinosaur Resource Center in Woodland Park, Colorado. The exhibit traveled to major museums across the United States, including the Cleveland Museum of Natural History, the Fernbank Museum of Natural History in Atlanta, Georgia, and the Las Vegas Natural History Museum.

Exhibition hours are 1 to 4:30 p.m. Sunday, 10 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Monday to Friday, and 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Saturday. The Bossard Memorial Library is located at 7 Spruce St., Gallipolis.

The process to bring Savage Ancient Seas to Gallia County began earlier this year, Bossard Library Director Debbie Saunders said.

Work continued throughout the year to prepare for the major exhibition. The 5,000 square foot show is housed in the library’s large programming space, known as the Riverside Room, and the adjacent large print area.

Saunders said community support for the library has helped host world-class exhibits.

“Savage Ancient Seas is the third major exhibition presented at the library. This caliber of exhibit is typically featured in major metropolitan areas,” said Saunders. “However, the library board and administration strongly believe in the importance of bringing this cultural opportunity closer to home to provide a unique educational experience for those in the tri-state area.”

In addition to seeing replica fossils, visitors will also be able to touch real fossils, enjoy hands-on and interactive kiosks, touch screens and virtual content.

The exposure is appropriate for children and adults, according to Saunders.

The Bossard Library encourages individual residents and families, school groups, and civic or community organizations to visit Savage Ancient Seas. Groups can register to visit the exhibition.

“The library has hosted school groups from as far away as Cincinnati for past exhibits,” said Saunders. “We encourage all local school districts to take advantage of this incredible field trip opportunity.”

Teaching guides with additional information about the exhibit are available on the library’s website at bossardlibrary.org, she said.

The fossils featured in Savage Ancient Seas mostly date from the late Cretaceous, around 70 million years ago. Specimens on display include the enormous Tylosaurus, the jaws of the Megalodon, and the flying Pteranodon, among many others.

The fossil replicas depict creatures that lived in the vast Western Interior Seaway that covered most of the American Midwest between the Arctic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico millions of years ago. The mounted and arranged skeletons allow visitors to grasp how these ancient “sea monsters” might have looked like and how they lived in the age of the dinosaurs.

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