Another Speaker Series is about to get underway at the Royal Tyrrell Museum of Paleontology.
The next series is 'Move Over Nessie! Neck Mobility in Plesiosaurs, the Long-Necked Marine Reptiles of the Mesozoic'.
"The presentation is about neck mobility, so the movement of necks in the Plesiosaurs. Plesiosaurs are marine reptiles that are completely extinct and they're characterized by this super long neck. We actually don't really know what the neck was used for or what it's ecological role was," stated Ramon Nagesan, Education and Preparation Lab Liaison at the Tyrrell Museum.
"My study has been all about modeling the movement pattern behind the neck to try to understand what it was used for."
Nagesan has used a number of different techniques to try and understand how this reptiles structure worked and was built.
"CT Scanning to produce 3-D models and then I basically moved those models in what I hope to be a biologically realistic way to see how this animal may have used this interesting structure," he noted.
Although we are the dinosaur capital, not all the specimens are found here in the Valley.
"There are actually a couple sporadic specimens from around the Horseshoe Valley, but we actually get a fair number of them up from Fort McMurray. That's at least where we find them in the rocks. Because they are marine animals, we have to search rocks that preserve a marine ecosystem," Neagen outlined.
The Plesiosaur group is completely extinct, which makes Nagesan's job a lot harder.
"Their closest relatives are just other lizards in general and that's actually one of the major problems about my research with finding things to compare these animals to."
The Speaker Series takes place in the Royal Tyrrell Auditorium this Thursday, March 2, at 11:00 a.m.
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