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Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County Celebrates National Fossil Day

The Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County celebrates National Fossil Day on Saturday, October 8, 2011.

Fossils preserve evidence of ancient life, and the paleontologists at the Natural History Museum and Page Museum are working hard to preserve these treasures for future generations. Join us at National Fossil Day to meet fossil scientists, participate in fun activities, and see some of the best preservations from our collections.

10:30 AM & 1:30 PM
Junior Scientist
Celebrate National Fossil Day with us by becoming a Junior Paleontologist and discover how fossils preserve evidence of ancient life! Meet the paleontologists at the Natural History Museum who are working hard to preserve these treasures for future generations.

Junior Scientist is specially designed for 6- to 9-year-olds and their families. All programs are FREE with paid Museum admission or Membership and include a personal Field Notebook to take home. No reservations are required; check in at the Dueling Dinosaurs in the Museum’s foyer on the day of for a free entry ticket.

National Fossil Day at The Page Museum
Saturday, October 8, 2011; 10:30 am to 3:30 pm
Staff paleontologists from the Rancho La Brea Department will be showcasing new finds from our current excavations in Project 23, as well as, specimens from the collections that are rarely on show to the public. Our scientists will be on hand to discuss the Ice Age habitats represented by the fossils in our collections and their great scientific importance. Activities will include microfossil sorting, putting together a skeleton of a saber-toothed cat, and fossil rubbings.

11 AM
Pleistocene Garden Tour
Join Richard Simun on tour of our Pleistocene Garden, followed by a California poppy seed packet making activity to promote native gardening.

11:30 AM & 12:30 PM
Junior Ice Age Encounter
Have a Junior Ice Age Encounter when our snarling, prowling 2-month old baby saber-toothed cat makes a special appearance at the Page Museum. This adorable Smilodon fatalis will give younger scientists a glimpse back to a time when big cats roamed the land we now call Los Angeles. The realistic marionette, lovingly nicknamed “Nibbles,” was created by puppet master Robin Walsh, and regularly appears in the Ice Age Encounters show at NHM.

1 PM
“The Taphonomy of the Tar Pits” with Anthony Friscia
This talk will delve into the study of how animals are preserved as fossils and what the fossils can tell us-a science called taphonomy. We’ll follow the sequence from a living animal through the fossilization process to the time it is discovered, excavated, cleaned, and studied by researchers. Lecture held in Education Classroom.

Anthony Friscia is a faculty member at the University of California, Los Angeles, in the Integrative Biology and Physiology Department. Most of his research is on fossil mammalian carnivores, but he’s interested in many aspects of paleontology. As a professor at UCLA, he has won a number of distinctions for his teaching and helps to shape the undergraduate science curriculum on campus.

Through-out the day:
Live exhibit with excavators working on Box 12 at Project 23.

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