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Deep Time:
Sea Dragons of Nevada

Barbara and Tad Danz Gallery | Floor 3
John Hawley Olds LaGatta Gallery | Floor 3

Long before humans walked the Earth, Nevada was submerged beneath the waters of an ancient sea. Explore this underwater realm and meet the giant sea creatures—also known as ichthyosaurs—that called it home. These marine reptiles lived 250 million years ago and this exhibition, Deep Time: Sea Dragons of Nevada, debuts many of Nevada’s spectacular, but never-before-seen fossils.

Dive into Nevada’s prehistoric past through the display of original fossils, including a 33-foot specimen. Hear stories of Nevada’s early and present-day paleontologists and fossil hunters, including John C. Merriam, Annie Alexander, Charles Camp, and Martin Sander. And learn how Nevada’s extinct underwater animals connect us to a larger global community of scientific discovery.

Through a unique blend of paleontology, art, history, and design, this groundbreaking exhibition explores the rise and fall of these ancient sea creatures, revealing how an understanding of the prehistoric past and evolutionary change over time may in fact help us to anticipate our own future.

Highlights of the exhibition include: recently discovered fossils from the newest ichthyosaur species, Cymbospondylus youngorum, excavated in the Augusta Mountains of Nevada; fossils, photographs and field journal pages from the 1905 Saurian expedition to Nevada’s Humboldt Range; fossils excavated from the quarry known today as Berlin-Ichthyosaur State Historic Park; the story of fossil hunter Mary Anning, the first woman to discover an ichthyosaur fossil in Great Britain in 1811; striking examples of paleoart, revealing how artists and scientists have long worked together to imagine the world’s prehistoric marine creatures; and one of the nation’s largest collections of vintage prehistoric animal toys amassed by Jack Arata after visiting the ichthyosaur fossils in Berlin, Nevada as a young boy in the 1950s.

Accompanying the exhibition is a new children’s book celebrating women in science by honoring the achievements of Annie Alexander. Annie Alexander’s Amazing Adventure: An American Fossil Expedition in Nevada is written by Ann M. Wolfe with illustrations by Nevada-based artist Kate O’Hara. Through brilliant and colorful illustrations, readers learn about the plants and animals of the desert environment, ichthyosaur fossil discoveries and excavation, and extinction and climate science.

Deep Time: Sea Dragons of Nevada is a 9,000-square-foot exhibition co-curated by Ann M. Wolfe, the Museum’s Andrea and John C. Deane Family Chief Curator, along with lead paleontologist Dr. Martin Sander, Professor of Vertebrate Paleontology at University of Bonn, Germany. The exhibition is designed by Nik Hafermaas based in Berlin, Germany.

Lead Sponsors
Margaret and Charles Burback
Barbara and Tad Danz
Reno Orthopedic Center
Elizabeth and Henry Thumann

Major Sponsors
Linda and Alvaro Pascotto

Betsy Burgess and Tim Bailey
John Cunha
Estelle J. Kelsey Foundation
Debra Marko and Bill Franklin
Nevada Arts Council | National Endowment for The Arts

Supporting Sponsor
Gail and Robert Aldrich
Chica Charitable Trust

Additional Support
Brian Kendig