Sternberg extends T. rex cetera: Major exhibit on Mesozoic era to stay at museum through July 26

"T. rex cetera: Dinosaurs and Other Mesozoic Monsters" has been extended at Fort Hays State University's Sternberg Museum of Natural History until July 26.

It is one of the major features of this year's celebration of the 10th anniversary of the museum's move to its home in the dome.

The exhibit, which opened May 24, 2008, was originally scheduled to close March 29 of this year.

"T. rex cetera" features Stan, at 70 percent the second most complete Tyrannosaurus skeleton ever found, and more than 30 other full skeletons of animals that lived during the 185-million-year span of the Mesozoic Era, comprising the Triassic, Jurassic and Cretaceous periods. Also included are almost 40 other specimens, including many skulls and other bones.

The exhibition showcases fossil casts from the private collection of Dr. Jack Hankla, a Danbury, Ky., dentist, whose interest in paleontology and fossil collecting has resulted in one of the most significant private collections in the United States.

The museum's other main summer event is called "In Search of Giant Squid." This traveling exhibition from the Smithsonian Institution explores what little is known about these mystifying animals and describes scientists' ongoing efforts to observe them in their undersea environment.

Carcasses of giant squid, the world's largest invertebrate, have been found in fishermen's nets and in the bellies of sperm whales and have washed ashore all over the world. Scientists have learned a few things about their lives and habits, but much remains to learn. This is because no giant squid has ever been seen alive.

The exhibit features a giant squid beak and suckers and will help visitors examine the myths and legends that surround giant squid. The exhibit will give visitors a basis to compare them with other mollusks and to explore what is known about how they hunt, move and defend themselves. Scientific research helps understand their anatomy and their behavior.

Other major exhibits coming to the Sternberg Museum include:
July 4: "Picturing Prehistory," using art and drawings to help people envision living, breathing dinosaurs.
Sept. 20: "Shades of Grey," returning by popular demand and demonstrating the inspiring power of art in advancing environmental education.
Oct. 17: Cards, letters, drawings and collages sent to the museum by its visitors.

For more updated information, contact the Sternberg Museum at (785) 628-4286, or visit the Web site at

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