Newport News, VA (October 3, 2023) Celebrate National Fossil Day with the Virginia Living Museum on Sunday, October 15th! The Museum will host one-day-only activities for adults and children from noon to 3:00 pm.
Activities include sessions on fossil preparation and identification, discovering Virginia’s past climate through fossil examination, and a “fossil dig” where families can explore fossilized shark teeth, corrals, and other marine animals that lived millions of years ago —including Virginia’s state fossil, Chesapecten jeffersonius.
“Fossils give us a window into Virginia’s unique natural history,” said Rebecca Kleinhample, the Museum’s executive director. “They show us how landscapes and climates have changed over time, and how life responded and adapted to those changes.”
Guests can experience a special sneak peek into the Museum’s collections, housed in the Wason Education Center. The Virginia Living Museum has an extensive collection of fossils, minerals, and biofacts that are rarely seen by the general public. The Museum’s unique prehistoric giant fossil collection of a Mastodon, one of only two found east of the Blue Ridge, will also be displayed. The Museum is currently creating a Preparation Lab onsite to preserve and eventually display the Ice Age creature.
“The Museum’s ‘Celebrate Fossil Day’ event gives us the chance to showcase some of our fossils, to show kids and families specimens that play an important role in our understanding of our world today, and to inspire future generations of paleontologists,” said Rachel Riesbeck, the Museum’s education director.
National Fossil Day was established in 2010 by the National Park Service, museums, science institutions, and organizations around the country to dedicate a day to highlight fossils through educational events and to show the importance of preserving fossil resources for future generations. National Fossil Day is observed annually on the Wednesday of the first full week in October. The Virginia Living Museum’s ‘Celebrate Fossil Day’ event is planned for a weekend day to enable families with children to attend the event.
To learn more, visit thevlm.org.