Date/Time: Thursday, Sept. 20, 9 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.
Location: Earth Sciences Building, 2207 Main Mall
Parking: Media may park in the service area behind the building. Please display credentials.
Event details: Come and see the Elasmosaurus—an ancient marine reptile with a neck so long and heavy it would barely have been able to raise its head above water.
UBC’s Pacific Museum of Earth had the 13-metre-long cast skeleton installed last weekend in the glass atrium of the Earth Sciences Building.
The PME, as part of its focus on illuminating Earth’s evolution, is developing interactive teaching and learning materials to bring the new permanent installation to life.
The University’s natural history collections already house a Lambeosaurus skeleton (a duck-billed, hooded dinosaur) and Canada’s largest blue whale skeleton, at the Beaty Biodiversity Museum.
UBC’s Elasmosaurus is made possible with the support of Wheaton Precious Metals. The Vancouver-based resource sector company also supported construction of UBC’s Earth Sciences Building. In June, the building’s five-storey glass atrium was named the Wheaton Precious Metals Atrium.
- Kirsten Hodge, director, Pacific Museum of Earth
- Stuart Sutherland, professor, Department of Earth Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences
- Video b-roll from installation: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/f4m4q2vq14rzg4t/AAAEqk7E6_qBcN7ivDQHuos4a?dl=0
- Interviews with installer Michael deRoos of Cetacea Contracting, Salt Spring Island, and Pacific Museum of Earth director Kirsten Hodge: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/xmzrq8vx5e0fkk2/AACdgXysZqcVtsskHUHfmBAEa?dl=0
- Photos: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/r84h282w59k9sf4/AADL4VsdcqSw-WpEQQRj08QFa?dl=0
- The Elasmosaurus was a plesiosaur—a marine reptile—not a dinosaur.
- They lived in North America during the Late Cretaceous period 80 million years ago, alongside the dinosaurs.
- Elasmosaurs likely inhabited the Western Interior Seaway, a continental sea covering central North America at the time.
- Elasmosaurs have B.C. roots as well. The first specimen found west of the Canadian Rockies was discovered in 1988 in shale off the Puntledge River, near Courtenay.
- The PME’s replica skeleton measures 42 feet (13 metres) long—with more than half of that length (7 metres or 23 feet) taken up by neck.
- The length and weight of an Elasmosaurus’s neck would place the giant reptile’s centre of gravity far back behind its flippers, limiting its ability to raise its head too far out of the water.
- Only one confirmed complete Elasmosaurus skeleton has been discovered. The Canadian Museum of Nature in Ottawa also features a replica plesiosaur skeleton.
More information: https://science.ubc.ca/news/ubc-museum-welcomes-ancient-sea-monster