Fossil class

We had some fun with fossils.
It was the first time that many of these kids had the chance to handle real fossils and they were excited.
We got them seated in a circle so they could pass some of the specimens around.
The fossils in the middle had been found locally.
They were of worm tracks through mud that had filled with slightly different mud and hardened.
They were too big to pass around but the kids did get to examine them.

One of the kids wanted to make sure his teacher got a picture of him and a small fossil.                      

They are holding a replica of a pterosaur fossil.
Most people know that some pterodactyls were huge but many similar animals were quite small.
This one was full grown when it was fossilized.

One of the favorite exhibits is a cast of the footprint left by a Dilophosaurus.
I made this cast on a visit to a dinosaur park in Connecticut many years ago.

They liked to compare the size of their hands to the cast.

If you were wondering this is what it looked like.

Students and teachers had questions about it.

Careful examination of a fish fossil.

They all recognized Manny from the movie Ice Age and were fascinated with the bit of hair and tusk I had to show them.

The kids saw and handled a lot more fossils than are shown here.
Many of them can be found locally but others we have collected from around the world.
The oldest is a stromatolite from Australia that is about 3.5 billion years old.
Orthoceras, crinoids, and ammonites that are between 500 million and 100 million years old.
I showed the kids two dinosaur coprolites and a bone that are about 100 million years old.
The fossil of part of the jaw and teeth of an oreodont that is only 20 million years old.
The mammoth specimens are about 40 thousand years old.

We all had a lot of fun.

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