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Cincinnati Museum Center celebrates Fossil Fest

CINCINNATI – Calling all dino dude and she-Rexes! From trilobites to T-Rexes, mastodons to brachiopods, fossils are taking over Cincinnati Museum Center during Fossil Fest on October 17, a celebration of those hardened remains that serve as clues to our prehistoric past.

The Greater Cincinnati region has, at different times in its history, lay beneath a vast prehistoric sea, been traversed by dinosaurs, been scraped across by glaciers and been home to mastodons, mammoths, bison and more. Join paleontologists, geologists and dino enthusiasts to learn more about those clues buried in the ground and streambeds around us that serve as clues about the giants who once called this region home.

Cincinnati Museum Center’s own staff paleontologists Glenn Storrs, PhD, Withrow Farny curator of vertebrate paleontology, and Brenda Hunda, PhD , curator of invertebrate paleontology, will be on hand to tell you more about the fossils in this region and beyond and what we can learn from them millions of years later. Community enthusiasts and experts from the Dry Dredgers will tell you where and how you can find your own fossils. You can even watch as volunteers in the Paleo Lab examine fossils excavated during one of the Museum Center’s digs in Montana and the Dakotas.

Two exhibits tell the prehistoric history of the Tristate

Cincinnati Under the Sea, located in the Museum of Natural History & Science , examines the prehistoric tropical sea that once covered the region and the fossils it left behind. The remains of trilobites, brachiopods, crinoids and more that called the area home 450 million years ago now litter the Tristate. The vast quantities of these fossilized remains from the Ordovician Period have made this region internationally-known amongst invertebrate paleontologists. Cincinnati Museum Center houses the world’s largest collection of Late Ordovician fossils and has used a portion of that collection to take a closer look at this period of incredible biodiversity and the ensuing extinction event.

Big Bone Lick: A Place of Discovery , opening October 10 in the Ruthven Gallery, takes you to the birthplace of American paleontology. Originally discovered by French soldiers 1739, Big Bone Lick caught the attention of European naturalists and America’s founding fathers. A salt lick drew large groups of prehistoric animals to the site, including mastodons, mammoths, bison and giant sloths. The discovery of these animals’ big bones gave the site its name. In 1807, President Thomas Jefferson ordered the first organized excavation of the site led by William Clark of Lewis and Clark fame. The discoveries at Big Bone Lick led to new scientific theories including extinction, climate change and evolution. Big Bone Lick: A Place of Discovery uses fossils and artifacts to tell the history of the site and its impact on the scientific community of the 18th and 19th centuries.

Fossils are always a cause for fascination and excitement at Cincinnati Museum Center but they take center stage during Fossil Fest on Saturday, October 17. Fossil Fest activities are included with admission to the Museum of Natural History & Science and are free to Cincinnati Museum Center Members. For more information visit