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New Blockbuster Exhibit: Savage Ancient Seas

The South Carolina State Museum is excited to announce its brand new blockbuster exhibit, Savage Ancient Seas. This exhibit will transport guests to a North America of 80 million years ago, when the last of the great dinosaurs roamed the Earth and a shallow sea spread across the middle of the continent.  

In partnership with Triebold Paleontology, the South Carolina State Museum has developed an ancient underwater environment where visitors can experience enormous, vicious sea monsters of the Cretaceous Period.  The exhibition includes more than 50 prehistoric marine fossils, both cast and real specimens, mounted in extraordinary three-dimensional displays.  The skeletons are mounted dramatically, many suspended from the ceiling above, immersing visitors inside an ancient aquarium of sorts.

“We’re excited to bring such a unique exhibit to the State Museum. Guests will get an in-depth and up close look at how these creatures lived and what they looked like when they ruled the sea,” said Dave Cicimurri, State Museum natural history curator.

When dinosaurs ruled the land, these spectacular creatures ruled the vast North American Inland Sea, many of them living off the coast of what is now South Carolina.  Peer into the mouth of the largest aquatic reptile ever discovered, the 45-foot-long Tylosaurus. Walk under the fabled Loch Ness Monster’s ancient real-life counterpart, a 42-foot-long plesiosaur. Gasp in awe at Archelon, the 17-foot-wide sea turtle. Swim with a school of the three-dimensional skeletal reconstructions of fish. Sift through time and sediments as flying reptiles soar overhead. Learn how these ancient aquatic creatures lived and died…and who survived to today.

Stationed throughout the exhibition are kiosks where visitors can learn the story of how these creatures lived and how most of them appear to have become extinct, along with the dinosaurs.  You will also learn how these animals sank to the bottom of the sea when they died, where they were buried in chalky layers of sediment to eventually fossilize.  

Triebold Paleontology has collected and preserved Mesozoic Era fossils for more than 25 years.  Their technical reconstruction processes blend traditional molding and casting techniques with modern laser scanning and 3D printing.  This enables the reconstruction of a pile of crushed bones to the animal’s original shape, and allows for a life-like exhibition of these long-extinct animals.  The casts included in this exhibition were made from specimens collected by Triebold or loaned to the company for casting from other museum collections, allowing them to accumulate a world-renowned collection.

Unrivalled for their amazing varieties, voracious appetites, incredible teeth and gaping jaws, the creatures of the Savage Ancient Seas are unlike anything known in today’s world and you can see them come to life in the Sea Monsters: A Prehistoric Adventure, a new movie showing in the BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina planetarium.

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