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Zoology Museum to Exhibit Largest Sea-Reptile Fossil

By Martha E. Miller

The fossil skeleton of a marine reptile thought to be the largest that ever lived is being prepared for display at the Museum of Comparative Zoology.

The skeleton, which will stretch at least fifty feet when mounted, belonged to the sea-monster Kronosaurus, a Plesiosaur of the Lower Cretaceous period.

This fossil is the only complete skeleton of a Kronosaurus ever found. William E. Schevill '27, research associate in Zoology at the museum, discovered it in 1931, embedded in rock in Army Downs, North Queensland, Australia.

Alfred S. Romer, director of the museum, said yesterday that the bones have great scientific value in studies of evolution and comparative anatomy, and will be used extensively in teaching.

The preparation and mounting of the reptile's skeleton will take about two years, he added. The necessary funds, approximately $10,000, have been provided by Godfrey L. Cabot '82.

Arnold Lewish, museum preparator is restoring the skeleton, which has a nine foot skull, the longest known fossil reptile skull in the world. The fossil's jaws are nearly 10 times as large as an alligator's with 80 spiky teeth six inches long.

To Decide on Shape

Donald Baird, assistant curator of Vertebrate Paleontology, will decide what the bones should look like and in what relationship they should be placed. Since this is the only Kronosaurus skeleton ever recovered, the size and placement of bones will be determined by studying other Plesiosaurs, he said.

A 40-by-30 room in the museum will be redesigned to display the skeleton. The bones will be fastened to a steel framework along one side, and a plaster-of-paris wall will be built to cover the frame and simulate the rock wall in which the reptile was found.

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