A young boy's intense gaze over the exhibit railing at the National Geographic Society's Explorers Hall captured what everyone in the room seemed to feel - a sense of awe.
They were staring at rows of blade-shaped teeth, eye sockets big enough to push a fist through, and the sleek, 5-foot-long jaw of a dinosaur.
"I sure wouldn't want to be caught by one of those if I was roaming the plains 65 million years ago," said Reg Murphy, president of the society, as the "Africa's Dinosaur Castaways" fossil exhibit opened at the Northwest museum. It will run until Sept. 8.
He was referring to the displayed replica of the recently excavated skull of Carcharodontosaurus, or "shark-toothed reptile," one of two major finds uncovered by the team of University of Chicago paleontologist Paul Sereno during an expedition to Saharan Morocco last summer.
"Carcharodontosaurus was the largest predator during the period from …