Old bones raised in new KU building

Posted on Dec 1, 2017 in Campus News and News

Mosasaur and sea turtle installation at the Earth, Energy & Environment building at the University of Kansas.

The new Earth, Energy & Environment Center will include some old bones.

Triebold Paleontology recently cast and installed a replica of a mosasaur fossil known as tylosaurus proriger.  C.D. Bunker, curator at KU’s Natural History Museum, and his associates collected the fossil in Wallace County in 1911.

An intimidating predator, the mosasaur will take your breath away. The size and length are imposing enough. But its teeth seal the deal—or in this case, the fate of an 84-million-year-old sea turtle the tylosaurus is chasing in the display

“This is the Earth Energy and Environment Center; it’s all about the earth sciences,” said Bob Goldstein, Haas Distinguished professor of geology and special advisor for campus development in the provost’s office. “What better specimen to bring the public in than a spectacular 45-foot-long sea monster from the cretaceous of Kansas.”

Ancient fossils and KU connections

Sea turtles were likely prey for mosasaurs, and this particular fossil shows nearly 100 bite marks from a mosasaur similar in size to tylosaurus proriger. Anthony Maltese, c’04, was part of the team that collected the sea turtle fossil south of Quinter in October, 2011.

Bunker’s original tylosaurus specimen resides at the KU Natural History Museum in Dyche Hall. It is believed to be the largest complete mosasaur fossil in existence.

About the Earth, Energy & Environment Center

The Earth, Energy & Environment Center (EEEC) sits next to Lindley Hall and will open for classes in spring 2018. The two buildings of the EEEC—Ritchie Hall and Slawson Hall— will feature bridges to Lindley Hall and Learned Hall.

The multidisciplinary center is a collaboration between the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences and the School of Engineering. It will bring together faculty, students and researchers from geology and engineering to tackle energy and environmental research.

—Dan Storey

Watch the slideshow below to see more pictures of the installation, or view the photos on Flickr. Read more about the installation from the Lawrence Journal-World.

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