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Stages in Development of Fossils Form Section--Many New Specimens Are Included


The University Museum of Comparative Zoology today opens a large Fossil Exhibition of extensive scope in the north wing of the University Museum. The exhibition covers the entire ground floor of that section of the Museum and includes four rooms, in which are located many new fossils.

An unusual exhibit is on display in the entrance hall of the Museum. This is a fossilized slab of rock from Agate Springs, Nebraska, in which are located the bones of a rhinoceros, so thickly scattered as to make an almost solid pavement. This slab has been prepared in such a way as to show the bones of the animal, in the position in which, they were washed in the bed of an ancient river. The slab was found in a prairie, which was formerly the bed of this river. The slab is to be placed in a glass case, the prepared surface having been varnished as a preservative.

An exhibition of invertebrate fossils is contained in one room. The specimens have been arranged systematically, giving the geneology of each group and showing the relationship to living representatives. These are numerous restorations, showing the probable habits of life and the appearance of the animals when alive. An entire case is devoted to an exposition of "how an animal becomes a fossil, and how deceptive fossil-like forms may be produced". This is one of the most interesting parts of the exhibit as it shows the steps in the development of a fossil, the appearance of which is vividly pictured in the fossilized slab before mentioned. Among the invertebrates is a fossil shell of a mollusk, which is one of the largest in the world, being nine and a half feet in length. Only a part of this gigantic shell is present, the entire specimen is estimated at about 14 feet. This mollusk shell once lived in an ancient ocean, located over what is now the northern part of the state of New York.

Another room is devoted to reptiles and ancient fish. A collection of marine reptiles occupies one wall of this room, and includes in particular reptiles which were alive at the time when this form of marine life dominated the sea.

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