NO. 15, SEPTEMBER 1966
Co-Editors: Stephen E. Clabaugh Ancel D. Leshikar
THE Onion Creek Mosasaur
One of the most spectacular exhibits in the Texas Memorial Museum today is that of the Onion Creek Mosasaur, Mosa saurus maximus, presently displayed in Memorial Hall. As mounted, the skeleton is 30 feet long, of which about 12 feet is tail. The head is 4 feet 8 inches long and the jaws, when fully opened, have a gape of about 3 feet.
This gigantic marine lizard was discovered in 1935 by W. Clyde Ikins and John Peter Smith, UT geology students, who saw a fossil bone containing some teeth lying in the bed of Onion Creek in Travis County, Texas, about four miles from the Austin city limits. A little preliminary digging revealed the presence of a number of scattered bones in the soft, light
gray, chalky claystone known as the Navarro Formation. The two reported their find to Dr. E. H. Sellards, then Director of Texas Memorial Museum and the Bureau of Economic Ge ology, and, at his request, they donated it to the Museum.
Excavation of the fossil was begun the following summer under the direction of Dr. Sellards, who had secured support for the project from the Public Works Administration. Once the bones were brought in, the time-consuming and tedious task of reconstruction was begun. The material was assembled in Gregory Gymnasium by Drs. Frank Bell and Bill Crum; both of whom worked for the Bureau that summer and on the
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