British Columbia

13 metre-long sea monster skeleton cast installed at UBC

The elasmosaurus isn't technically a dinosaur, but it sure looks close.

Scientists say long-necked elasmosaurus likely wouldn't have been able to lift its own head above water

The cast skeleton of an elasmosaurus now hangs above the University of British Columbia's Pacific Museum of Earth. Scientists say the marine reptile likely lived alongside the dinosaurs 80 million years ago. (UBC)

The elasmosaurus isn't technically a dinosaur, but it certainly looks close.

A cast skeleton of the ancient marine reptile has been installed at the University of British Columbia, with 13 metres of brown bone suspended across the atrium of the Pacific Museum of the Earth.

Nine of those 13 metres are in the creature's neck.

The elasmosaurus skeleton was installed in the glass atrium of UBC's Earth Sciences Building over the weekend. (UBC)

Scientists say the elasmosaurus — which lived alongside the dinosaurs 80 million years ago — likely wouldn't have been able to lift its own head above the water because of the sheer weight of its neck.

The reptiles likely lived in the continental sea that covered North America during the late Cretaceous period.

The first elasmosaurus specimen found west of the Rockies was near Courtenay, B.C., in 1988.

The reptile's neck was so long it was likely unable to lift its head above water, scientists say. (UBC)

Only one confirmed, complete skeleton has ever been unearthed. The cast on display at UBC is modelled after a skeleton found in Kansas.

The university is already home to a lambeosaurus skeleton and the largest blue whale skeleton in Canada.

The blue whale washed ashore and was buried in P.E.I. in 1987. It was exhumed and shipped to Vancouver in 2010.

Read more from CBC British Columbia


To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

Become a CBC Member

Join the conversation  Create account

Already have an account?