Visitors to Miami Seaquarium can go back in time and deep under sea, or at least feel that way. “Savage Ancient Seas,” which opened Mar. 8, will transport guests to a North America of 70 million years ago, when the last of the great dinosaurs roamed the earth and a shallow sea spread across the middle of the continent.
It is the spectacular, strange creatures of this sea — giant reptiles, fish, squid, and clams — that are the subject of this exciting exhibition.
In partnership with Triebold Paleontology Inc., Miami Seaquarium 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.
The creatures on exhibit include: several mosasaurs (marine lizards which only lived during the Late Cretaceous), including the 45-foot long Bunker Tylosaurus, the largest mosasaur ever discovered in North America; a school of Pachyrhizodus, vicious fish nearly 6 feet long, and Archelon, which with a 17-foot flipper-span is the largest turtle of any kind ever discovered.
Sampling the educational kiosks stationed throughout the exhibition, visitors can learn the story of how these creatures lived, and how most of them appear to have become extinct, along with the dinosaurs. Visitors also can learn how the 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 Inc. 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 “re-inflation” 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.
“Some of the sea creatures from this period may be ancient relatives of the marine mammals we know today,” said Emma Guss, education manager at Miami Seaquarium. “We are excited to know park visitors, especially the younger ones, will have this expanded education component as part of their visit to Miami Seaquarium.”
Savage Ancient Seas exhibit continues through Sept. 2 at Miami Seaquarium. The park is open every day from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. This exhibit is included with park’s general admission. Special discount offers available online by visiting www.miamiseaquarium.com.
For more information about the exhibition at the park, call 305-361-5705 or visit www.miamiseaquarium.com.
For more information about the exhibit contents, visit www.savageancientseas.com.