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Aquatic dinosaurs invade Gig Harbor

Post by Craig Sailor / The News Tribune on April 18, 2013 at 3:44 pm |
April 18, 2013 4:00 pm

Picture 1An exhibit featuring 14 prehistoric marine creatures has just opened at the Harbor History Museum in Gig Harbor.

“Savage Ancient Seas: the ancient aquatic deep” runs through July 14.

The museum is the first in the Pacific Northwest to host this exhibit of complete specimens from Triebold Paleontology Inc. of Colorado. Many of the specimens are suspended from the ceiling. Others are part of hands-on and learning center exhibits.

The specimens come from the late Cretaceous period – over 70 million years ago. At that time the oceans were filled with huge carnivorous marine reptiles. Creatures that sported double-hinged jaws and teeth in the middle of their palates. Gigantic flesh-eating fish swam the ancient seas while above flying reptiles with 3 foot skulls cruised the skies. And we can’t forget the biggest sea turtles that ever lived.

These particular creatures swam in the Western Interior Seaway which existed where present-day North Dakota, Kansas and other central U.S. states are today.

The exhibit includes the largest aquatic reptile ever discovered: the 45-foot-long Tylosaurus. There’s also the mega-shark: the Megalodon. Also on display is a Protostega, a 15-foot-wide sea turtle.

Here’s more information from the museum:

“Swim” with a school of the first three-dimensional reconstructions of the carnivorous fish of the day. Lean how these ancient aquatic creatures lived and died… and who survived to today.

Robust programming is planned for the exhibit to engage visitors of all ages. The Harbor History Museum is collaborating with local marine and environmental organization Harbor WildWatch, to create special exhibit programs for Savage Ancient Seasä. Schools K-12 can bring students for special tours and hands on workshops led by experienced Harbor WildWatch naturalist. Lecture series, workshops, and youth and teen programming will also be available.

The Harbor History Museum is at 4121 Harborview Drive, Gig Harbor. Museum hours are 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday–Sunday. Learn more at www.harborhistorymuseum.org

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