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28th July 2011

2:37pm: Fossil of prehistoric reptile found in Alaska
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Scientists have found the fossil of a rare, prehistoric marine reptile in southeast Alaska.

A team from the University of Alaska Museum of the North in Fairbanks says the fossil is of a little-known sea-going reptile called a thalattosaur, Greek for "sea lizard."

The fossil was excavated in two slabs in June from rock usually covered by the tide near the village of Kake.

The museum's earth sciences curator, Patrick Druckenmiller and others had just four hours for each of two days to collect the specimen during an extreme low tide that occurs at certain times of the year.

The Anchorage Daily News says the slabs are at the museum's fossil preparation lab, where the rock will be chipped away to expose as much of the fossil as possible.
(Anchorage Daily News)
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