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Beer and Science Converge in Ichthyosaur Expedition
“Great Basin Brewing Co., headquartered in Sparks, Nev. and the University of Bonn in Germany have teamed up in a rare partnership in the name of the Ichthyosaur.
While sometimes confused with dinosaurs, Ichthyosaurs were true reptiles of a different lineage. Ichthyosaurs, Nevada’s official state fossil, represented the first large predators after a major extinction of most species some 250 million years ago. Fossils of various species of these evolving creatures have been found all over the world.
Students and professors from the Division of Paleontology, Steinmann Institute of the University of Bonn, led by Dr. P. Martin Sander, professor of vertebrae paleontology, will be combing the Augusta Mountains in central Nevada this summer to further the understanding of the ancient Triassic ocean environment.
The team from the University of Bonn has currently identified at least 12 different species of Ichthyosaurs in the Augusta Range from previous expeditions. During the last field season, the team uncovered a huge creature, a species completely new to science, projected to have been about 50 feet long – and could well turn out to be the first large predator ever discovered in the fossil record worldwide.
Tom Young, owner and brewmaster of Great Basin Brewing Co. and former geologist, has always been somewhat of a science nerd. His bestseller is the Ichthyosaur India Pale Ale®. This aromatic IPA is wonderfully full bodied and smooth with a blast of grapefruit, spice and pine at the finish, and the result of a blend of carefully selected hops. Most call it “Icky” for short. Great Basin Brewing Co. has produced more than 6 million bottles at their Taps & Tanks location alone, making it the most widely consumed Nevada-made craft beer in the State of Nevada.
“Nevada is one of the most important localities to understand how Ichthyosaurs helped create and survive in the ancient ecosystem,” said Young. “It was only fitting to name one of our brews after this most important reptile.”” (…) READ MORE
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