Scientists will be revealing their latest findings, including rare discoveries of species previously unknown to science as well as challenging our understanding of the prehistoric world.
In recent years, students and professors from the Division of Paleontology of the Steinmann Institute of the University of Bonn, led by Dr. P. Martin Sander, professor of vertebrate paleontology, discovered 10 different species of Ichthyosaurs, some completely unknown in the fossil record. A new discovery of a rare Ophthalmosaurus lends an important clue to the evolution of other species of creatures found throughout the world.
Not to be confused with dinosaurs, Ichthyosaurs were marine reptiles and have been identified as the first large predator to emerge after a major extinction event over 250 million years ago. They also represent Nevada’s official state fossil, a species known as Shonosaurus that grew to over 60 feet in length.
Founder and brewmaster of Sparks, Nevada-based Great Basin Brewing Co. and former geologist Tom Young paired his curiosity for Nevada’s prehistoric beasts with his love of beer. To honor and support the hunt to uncover and share these creatures with the rest of the world, Great Basin Brewing Co. has been brewing its award-winning Ichthyosaur “Icky” IPA since 1993.
“To truly appreciate the present, we must understand the past,” Young said. “As we further discover the incredible journey our planet has taken to become what we call home today.”
Great Basin Brewing Co. has supported paleontological expeditions in Nevada for more than 12 years. To date, the brewery has donated more than $35,000, as well as labor and beer. The company transported a newly uncovered 50-foot fossil in its beer truck through the back roads of Nevada to the Natural History Museum in Los Angeles.
Earlier this month, Great Basin Brewing Co. and its partners hosted Beers & Beasts: Finding Icky, a party and fundraiser to assist the continuing research of Nevada’s mysterious creatures, and some of the oldest and largest Ichthyosaurs ever found.
To commemorate the newest discovery, the brewery released a new beer, Hazyosaur, a beastly Hazy IPA.
Beers & Beasts kicked off a five-part series of scientific presentations about Nevada’s “beasts,” both big and small, and other discoveries. The other presentations in this series are scheduled throughout the month of April and will be held at Great Basin Taps and Tanks production brewery.