Sunday, January 24, 2021
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13 metre-long sea monster skeleton cast installed at UBC

The elasmosaurus isn’t technically a dinosaur, but it certainly looks close.

A cast skeleton of the ancient marine reptile has been installed at the University of British Columbia, with 13 metres of brown bone suspended across the atrium of the Pacific Museum of the Earth.

Nine of those 13 metres are in the creature’s neck.

The elasmosaurus skeleton was installed in the glass atrium of UBC’s Earth Sciences Building over the weekend. (UBC)

Scientists say the elasmosaurus — which lived alongside the dinosaurs 80 million years ago — likely wouldn’t have been able to lift its own head above the water because of the sheer weight of its neck.

The reptiles likely lived in the continental sea that covered North America during the late Cretaceous period.

The first elasmosaurus specimen found west of the Rockies was near Courtenay, B.C., in 1988.

The reptile’s neck was so long it was likely unable to lift its head above water, scientists say. (UBC)

Only one confirmed, complete skeleton has ever been unearthed. The cast on display at UBC is modelled after a skeleton found in Kansas.

The university is already home to a lambeosaurus skeleton and the largest blue whale skeleton in Canada.

The blue whale washed ashore and was buried in P.E.I. in 1987. It was exhumed and shipped to Vancouver in 2010.

Read more from CBC British Columbia