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Crocodile XXL exposition at Leiden



Dear all,

I'd like to share with you that yesterday I've visited Naturalis (Dutch Museum of Natural History) in Leiden. I don't know wether any other list members are familiar with the museum but it offers quite some interesting mounts and casts. The list-interesting things I remember to have seen in the fossil department are:
Mesosaurus (unforgivably called 'a prehistoric crocodile')
a marine turtle, I don't remember the name, was something starting with A and ending with -emys (surprisingly ;))
Emeus crassus (which was smaller then I imagined it! The total lack of front limb elements is rather eery)
Archaeopteryx lithographica (the Leiden specimen. I still find it unbelievable it was called a pterosaur for so long,it unmistakably isn't)
Pterodactylus kochi (I should have paid attention to how its wing membrane attached!)
a Placodus skull (Those teeth are very broad indeed!)
Camarasaurus mount (standing on its hindlegs,I noted the very thick vertebra between the hips.)
a hadrosaur mount, Edmontosaurus if I'm not mistaken
Hyracodon
australopithecine skulls and skulls of Homo species (habilis,heidelbergensis,sapiens)
Megaceros
Dimetrodon skull fragments
woolly mammoth
Lystrosaurus skull
Dicynodon
Mosasaurus mount (those teeth were vicious-looking)
a nothrosaur
Ichtyosaurus


The star however had its own department, it was 'Krokodil XXL' or,low and behold, Sarcosuchus imperator. They had a skull (huge!) at the entrance of the hall but that was nothing compared to the full-scale skeleton and model placed in the middle. A 15m crocodile is a most impressive sight,even as a plastic (but very realistic) model, I must admit. What I found quite notable was the flat back, I'd have expected to see some armour there. Is that the normal view on Sarcosuchus?
At the back of the hall was another treat for me. A mount of a Suchomimus skeleton. Most impressive. I had expected its arms to be proportionally larger however. Another Suchomimus arm was compared to an arm of Tyrannosaurus, which showed there not to be a very great size difference.


All in all, it was very worthwhile.

Brian