Gray Fossil Site to celebrate ‘National Fossil Day’

This is an image provided by University of Edinburgh taken in Jinzhou, China, in 2014 and released on Thursday July 16, 2015 of the fossil of a new species of dinosaur named Zhenyuanlong suni. A nearly complete, new feather-winged dinosaur fossil has been unearthed in China, busting the Hollywood version of their cousins’ look as portrayed in the Jurassic Park movie series. The new species named Zhenyuanlong suni is a close cousin of the famous dinosaur predator Velociraptor in the Jurassic Park movies. (Steve Brusatte/University of Edinburgh via AP) MANDATORY CREDIT

GRAY, TN (WJHL)– You can take a trip back in time at the gray fossil site this weekend in celebration of national fossil day.

Courtesy of: Gray Fossil Site website
Courtesy of: Gray Fossil Site website


Visitors are invited to interact with paleontologists, dig on site, and participate in all-ages activities at the East Tennessee State University and General Shale Natural History Museum at the Gray Fossil Site on Saturday, October 10th for National Fossil Day.

The gray fossil site will offer a variety of activities to educate visitors about the types of fossils unearthed at the site and the techniques used in their discovery. The facility also organized a museum wide scavenger hunt with prizes.

Organizers have set the following schedule for the day’s festivities:

At 10:00 a.m. – noon, preregistered visitors are invited to dig on eth Gray Fossil Site with ETSU paleontologists. This program is limited to the first 25 registrants. To reserve a spot, call 1-866-202-6223 or email Participants must be at least 7 years old. The cost is $5 plus general admission.

At 11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m., the museum will offer a variety of activities for all ages. Visitors can learn about picking for microfossils, water screening techniques, and the types of fossils found at the Gray Fossil Site. There will also be a museum-wide scavenger hunt with prizes.

At 1:00 Dr. Blaine Schubert will give a presentation about Saltville, Virginia, excavations where the ETSU paleontologists as assist with an Ice Age dig, which has yielded mastodon and giant short-faced bear fossils.

At 3:00 p.m., visitors are invited to attend a public lecture presented by ETSU professor and museum curator, Dr. Mick Whitelaw. Dr. Whitelaw’s presentation will be about trilobites, which are ancient arthropod fossils that appeared over 500 million years ago until about 240 million years ago. The talk goes along with a trilobite-themed temporary exhibit featured at the museum, Trilobite Treasures: Arthropods of the Ancient Seas.

National Fossil Day is a celebration organized by the National Park Service and the American Geological Institute to promote public awareness and stewardship of fossils, as well as to foster a greater appreciation of their scientific and educational value. National Fossil Day takes place during International Earth Science Week sponsored by the American Geological Institute.

Make plans to celebrate national fossil day tomorrow at the gray fossil site from 11a.m. until 3p.m. It’s located off exit 13 of interstate 26.

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