Nov. 21—GALLIPOLIS — The largest exhibition in the world that specifically addresses marine paleontology and features mounted fossils up to 45 feet in length will continue through Saturday, Dec. 31 in Gallipolis at the Dr. Samuel L. Bossard Memorial Library.
"Savage Ancient Seas" is an interactive exhibit produced by Embedded Exhibitions, LLC, and is part of Triebold Paleontology, Inc., headquartered in the Rocky Mountain Dinosaur Resource Center in Woodland Park, Colorado.
The exhibition has traveled to major museums throughout the United States, including the Cleveland Museum of Natural History, the Fernbank Museum of Natural History in Atlanta, Georgia, and the Las Vegas Natural History Museum.
According to Bossard Library director Debbie Saunders, the process to bring "Savage Ancient Seas" to Gallia County began in earnest early in 2022 and work continued throughout the year at the library to prepare for this major exhibition, which opened to the public on Oct. 1. The 5,000-square-feet exhibit is currently housed in the library's large programming space, known as the Riverside Room, and adjacent large print area.
Saunders further expressed her appreciation for the community's continued support of the library, which has made it possible for Bossard Library to host world-renowned exhibits. This, in turn, has provided the public the opportunity to enjoy and learn from these exhibitions with free admission.
"'Savage Ancient Seas' is the third major exhibition to be featured at the library. This caliber of exhibition is typically on display in larger, metropolitan areas," Saunders said. "However, the library board and administration believe strongly in the importance of bringing this cultural opportunity closer to home to provide a unique, educational experience for those in the tri-state area."
In addition to viewing awe-inspiring fossil replicas, visitors to "Savage Ancient Seas" will also get to touch real fossils, while enjoying hands-on and interactive kiosks, touch screens, and virtual content.
According to Saunders, the exhibit is appropriate for both children and adults with a thirst for knowledge or an interest in discovering more about the ancient past.
She further noted that Bossard Library is encouraging not only individual community members and families to visit "Savage Ancient Seas," but also regional school groups and civic or community organizations. These groups can register to visit the exhibit.
"The library has welcomed school groups from as far as Cincinnati to past exhibitions," Saunders said. "We encourage all of the local school districts to take advantage of this amazing field trip opportunity."
Saunders also noted that educator guides with additional information about the exhibit are available on the library's website at bossardlibrary.org.
According to educational information provided by Embedded Exhibitions, the fossils featured in "Savage Ancient Seas" are primarily from the Late Cretaceous Period — between 87 and 70 million years ago. Included among the specimens in the exhibit are the enormous Tylosaurus, the jaws of the impressive Megalodon, and the flying Pteranodon, among many others.
These fossil replicas represent creatures that lived in the vast Western Interior Seaway that covered most of the American Midwest between the Arctic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico millions of years ago.
The mounted and arranged skeletons allow visitors to grasp how these ancient "sea monsters" might have looked and how they lived during the Age of the Dinosaurs.
Exhibit hours are from 1-4:30 p.m. on Sundays, 10 a.m.-7:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, and from 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m. on Saturdays.
For additional information, or to reserve guaranteed admission to "Savage Ancient Seas," please visit bossardlibrary.org.
Groups of 10 or more individuals should contact the library by calling 740-446-7323.
Walk-ins from the public are also welcome and repeat visits are encouraged.
Bossard Memorial Library is located at 7 Spruce St. in Gallipolis.