Sea Monsters of the Grand Valley is making an appearance at Dinosaur Journey in Fruita.

This new summer exhibit stars a life-size restoration of an Elasmosaurus, a 38 foot long marine reptile with a long neck and four paddle-like flippers. According to the Museum of Western Colorado, this creature roamed the shallow seas of North America during the Late Cretaceous, when Western Colorado was covered in a seaway up to 600 feet deep.

(Museum of Western Colorado)

Along with the Elasmosaurus, the exhibit will feature marine fossils from the Mancos Shale, the rock unit that underlies the Grand Valley from the river up to the Bookcliffs. Among the featured fossils will be the huge elasmosaurid fossil discovered at the base of the Bookcliffs last summer, the Xiphactinus fish fossil collected from the Grand Junction area in 2012, a small plesiosaur collected in the 1980s, and a duckbilled dinosaur that had floated out to sea as a carcass and became buried in the Mancos mud.

It's amazing to think that the Grand Valley was once covered with water, and a chance to see remnants of the creatures that roamed - and swam here millions of years ago.

The exhibit will be on display through September 7th  at Dinosaur Journey in Fruita from 9am-5pm daily beginning in May.