Monday, February 09, 2009

New Alaskan Ichthyosaur Unveiled

The University of Alaska Museum of the North has unveiled what officials call one of the largest, oldest and northernmost marine reptile fossils ever found.

Officials say the fossil sat in the Brooks Range for almost 210 million years before it was discovered in 1950, eventually arriving in Fairbanks.

Discovered by geologist Bud Ken and Carl Benson while mapping rocks in the foothills of the Brooks Range along Cutaway Creek, 200 miles south of Point Barrow, it waited another 50 years to be collected.

The fossil sat in museum storage for five years before it was rediscovered by our old friend, Dr. Patrick Druckenmiller (above), the Earth sciences curator for Museum of the North, who has been cleaning and studying the fossilized marine reptile over the past year. link.