Today is National Fossil Day. It’s a time set aside by the National Park Service to remind us about the importance of fossils, and why they need to be preserved.
Fossils are like little time capsules reflecting ancient life from all major eras of Earth's history, and from every major group of animal or plant. They also tell of natural processes that shaped our planet over time.
In the national parks, fossils range from primitive algae found high in the mountains of Glacier National Park, Montana, to the remains of ice-age animals found in caves at Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona.
The Sternberg Museum of Natural History in Hays, Kansas is honoring this day with demonstrations teaching how post rock are quarried, sharing what the museum is currently researching, and organizing special activities for children.
David Levering is the museum's education director.
"In the afternoon and evening," said Levering, in a press release, "we will be highlighting the roles of fossils and our fossil-bearing rocks in western Kansas' cultural history, celebrating our newly named state fossils of Kansas and showcasing student research on fossils housed at the Sternberg Museum."
If you’d like to find out more about your rock or fossil collection, you can bring them into the museum today from 4 to 6 p.m.
The museum is also celebrating with extended hours and free admission all day. Details about the Sternberg Museum of Natural History can be found on their website.