The University of Nebraska State Museum invites children and families to a National Fossil Day celebration from 5 to 8 p.m. Oct. 6 at Morrill Hall. The event will feature activities led by state museum paleontologists.
Visitors will learn what a fossil is, have the opportunity to dig and sort for fossils, and learn more about sister museum Ashfall Fossil Beds State Historical Park. Mueller Planetarium will present the fulldome show “Dinosaurs at Dusk” at 6 and 7 p.m., and Lincoln City Libraries will lead a fossil-themed storytime at 6:30 p.m. Visitors are welcome to bring a fossil for a scientist to identify.
The state museum’s collection of vertebrate fossils is internationally recognized as a resource for understanding the prehistoric past, as well as some of today’s most important scientific concerns, such as climate change. More than 1 million rare specimens have been added to the collection since 1891, when director Erwin H. Barbour made his first fossil expedition to the Badlands of Nebraska and South Dakota. The division continues to make new discoveries in Nebraska, nearby states and other parts of the world. Modern field and laboratory techniques are used in the collection and preparation of fossils, and cutting-edge methods are used in their study.
National Fossil Day, Oct. 12, is a celebration organized by the National Park Service to promote public awareness and stewardship of fossils, and to foster a greater appreciation of their scientific and educational values.
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