[Editor’s Note: The Reno Dads team received free admission to this event. The admission included a free beer. You really should consider joining our team!]
A “true” Nevada knows certain obscure things about our great state that normal folks wouldn’t even care to know. Our State Song, for one. Our state animal, the Desert Bighorn Sheep for two. And our state fossil, the Ichtyosaur. For whatever reason, these are things we just know and can use to identify a fellow native without needing a secret handshake if they have this knowledge. So, upon receiving an invitation to hear a talk from Dr. Martin Sander, a paleontologist from Bonn University in Germany, on the Ichthyosaur at one of our favorite breweries, Great Basin Brewing Co. Taps and Tanks, we jumped at the opportunity. We even asked for extra tickets!
If there is one takeaway from this event, it is this: the Ichthyosaur is not a dinosaur. I’ll be honest, I’ve only known the Ichthyosaur as a dinosaur. I mean, it is a fossil and looks like a dinosaur. Seems like a reasonable assumption to me! Apparently I have been misinformed as the Ichthyosaurs were actually true reptiles of a different lineage. Ichthyosaurs represented the first large predators after a major extinction of most species some 250 million years ago.
I cannot explain it all, but those are the facts as presented! Regardless, the event was a great time, we got to try out a brand new beer (Phaladoron, a barrel-aged IPA), see a life-size drawing of the 50 foot beast, and ran into a bunch of old friends (Reno truly is a small town). As everyone knows, Great Basin Brewery has fantastic locations, the Taps and Tanks location really does allow you to see the sheer size of their operation.
More info about the event courtesy of Great Basin Brewery:
In 2016, a team of paleontologists from Bonn University in Germany climbed the mountains of central Nevada to find Ichthyosaur fossils to take back to the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles. What they found was 12 different species, one of them most likely the first large predator ever discovered (about 243 million years old). Knowing this was an important discovery, we joined the expedition. From monetary donations to physically driving the fossils to LA, we are excited to be a part of this important historical find and get an update on what they have discovered at the museum.
Along with The National Geographic Society, Bonn University (Germany), The German Research Foundation, The Natural History Museum of Los Angeles, and Nevada Lands, we are proud to be an official sponsor of the Ichthyosaur expedition here in Nevada.