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70 million years in the making: Savage Ancient Seas displayed at Museum of the Rockies

A look at an ancient underwater world
Posted at 11:19 AM, Feb 04, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-04 13:31:05-05

BOZEMAN — If you are itching to get out of the house, the Museum of the Rockies in Bozeman has an exhibit that is 70 million years in the making. Savage Ancient Seas is now on display at the museum through May 2nd. The exhibit features marine reptiles and carnivorous fish in a way you might not be able to imagine. Savage Ancient Seas gives you a look at an ancient underwater world with more than 30 prehistoric casts and several real fossils.

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While the Museum of the Rockies always features some of the best dinosaurs, this exhibit shows animals that were alive around the same time as some of the creatures you normally see at the Museum. “You get to see these underwater creatures that you don't normally get to see in Montana in their full-scale three-dimensional glory where you get to go right up next to them,” Dr. John Scannella told MTN. Scannella is the curator of paleontology at MOR and has plenty of insight into the time period.

“The exhibit highlights life in the western interior seaway which is the vast shallow sea that covered most of North America in the late cretaceous period,” Scannella explained. He went on to tell us that this exhibit complements what is already up in the So toward the end of the age of dinosaurs - and I think it complements nicely what is on display at the Museum of the Rockies in the Sieble Dinosaur Complex.

Some of the highlights include a 45-foot-long Tylosaurus, which is the largest mosasaur skeleton ever found in North America. Also, on display are Pteranodons with an 11-foot wingspan as well as a sea turtle with a 17-foot flipper span.

The past year has been a tough one for non-profits like the Museum of the Rockies. Alicia Harvey, the museum’s marketing director said that despite the hit to visits to the museum, she is continually impressed with how members have responded. “It has impacted our bottom line, and we are very grateful to our members who have continued their membership during the COVID-19 shutdown.” She went on to explain that members have continued to renew their memberships which makes a difference.

Walk-ins are welcome to the Museum of the Rockies, but attendance is capped to stay in line with COVID-19 safety protocols, including masks and social distancing while in the building. If you would like to visit the museum on a particular day, guests are encouraged to make reservations online to ensure entry to the museum by going to their website.