New plesiosaur exhibit unveiled

Eloise Ogden/MDN A plesiosaur exhibit in the Underwater World area of the Adaptation Gallery: Geologic Time was unveiled in the North Dakota Heritage Center & State Museum in Bismarck on Friday. In this photo, a portion of a mosesaur extends in front of the plesiosaur exhibit. A plesiosaur is a long-necked marine reptile that lived in North Dakota 80 million years ago and was similar in appearance to the Loch Ness monster of Scottish folklore. The acrylic and oil mural was done by Becky Barnes, paleontologist, and depicts a swimming plesiosaur. The neck vertebrae and skull cast extends 10 feet from the wall. A number of plesiosaur neck vertebrae fossils discovered in southwest North Dakota, the most bones from a single plesiosaur found in North Dakota to date, are on display as part of the exhibit. Visitors can see the new exhibit Monday-Friday from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. and Saturday-Sunday from 10 a.m.-5 p.m.