January 08, 2008

Meet the Mosasaur

Posted by: Rebecca Durkin

The new year brings us a new friend on the UW campus.

Head down to Hitchcock Hall in south campus and you'll find a newly installed 85 million year old mosasaur fossil. And yes, it's real.

The mosasaur is an extinct marine reptile, a dominant predator of the Cretaceous Period. The one on display, newly donated to the Burke's paleontology collections by the Hart family, is probably a species of mosasaur known as Platecarpus.

Next week we install a 21-foot-long (!!!), 125 million year old ichthyosaur in the Burke Room, also donated by the Hart family. The scoop on that with lots of photos will be coming up soon on Burke Blog.

- Rebecca


Top: Burke Curator of Vertebrate Paleontology Christian Sidor (left) and Fossil Preparator Bruce Crowley (Right) put finishing touches on the new mosasaur installation in Hitchcock Hall.

Bottom: Ichthyosaurus painting by Heinrich Harder