EXHIBITS: Care for Some Plesiosaur Spotting?

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science  01 Aug 2003:
Vol. 301, Issue 5633, pp. 573
DOI: 10.1126/science.301.5633.573d

Long before amber waves of grain covered Kansas, waves of a different kind sloshed over the state, much of which lay beneath a huge inland sea. The educational Web site Oceans of Kansas Paleontology transports you back 85 million years to meet the denizens of this ancient ocean. Curator Mike Everhart, a paleontologist at the Sternberg Museum of Natural History in Hays, Kansas, uses photos of fossils and artists' reconstructions to bring alive the era's toothed birds, snake-necked plesiosaurs, hulking sharks, and long-snouted mosasaurs, such as Platecarpus planifrons. Other pages whisk you to dusty digs and explain what subtle clues on fossils reveal about the animals' lives—and deaths. For example, tooth-scarred and partially dissolved mosasaur vertebrae show that the creatures sometimes ended up in the gullet of the 5-meter ginsu shark.


Stay Connected to Science

Navigate This Article