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Sustainability at HC
Sept. 24 - Pteranodon takes flight at the new Morrison-Reeves Science Center at Hastings College
Award-winning paleoartist, Gary Staab ’89, has brought to life one of the area’s earliest natives for the new Morrison-Reeves Science Center at Hastings College. Staab presented his latest creation and the dedication lecture, “Raising the Dead: Fleshing out the Past,” at 8 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 1 during the new Science Center’s dedication and open house.
Staab’s Pteranodon longiceps is suspended above Morrison-Reeves’s two-story atrium at its east entrance. The prehistoric creature’s 22-foot wing span is slightly closed as if poised in mid-dive to catch a fish.
The Pteranodon is a flying reptile believed to have lived 82-87 million years ago. Its fossils were first discovered in Kansas by Othniel Marsh in 1870. The Pteranodon is believed to be the only flying reptile to have lived in this area and is much larger than the European Pterodactyl. Pteranodon fossils have been found with wingspans as long as 26 feet across.
“Imagine standing on the shore or floating on a boat of the inland sea near Hastings in the late Cretaceous period and seeing one of these flying reptiles overhead,” Staab said.
The Pteranodon is thought to have flown incredible distances and may have had a similar lifestyle to the modern albatross spending most of its life on the wing.
Staab, who studied biology and art when he was a student at Hastings College, creates natural history and prehistoric life models for museums, publishing and film as a paleoartist. His work can be found in locations across the globe.
He may be best known for his life-size recreation of history’s largest crocodilian, National Geographic’s Super Croc. Staab’s Thursday evening lecture covered the process involved in creating prehistoric life models and some of his recent work for the University of Chicago and National Geographic.
Hastings College, founded in 1882, is a private, four-year liberal arts institution affiliated with the Presbyterian Church (USA). A total of 64 majors in 32 areas of study and 12 pre-professional programs are offered to more than 1,150 students. Hastings College has a passion for preserving the Nebraska way of life through commitment to community, dedication to local partnership and environmental stewardship. With its new environmentally friendly Morrison-Reeves Science Center, Hastings College is taking the next step toward a greener future; not just for its students, but for everyone.