NATIONAL FOSSIL DAY™
National Fossil Day is observed annually on Wednesday of the second full week in October.
All around the world paleontologists seek and identify the reminents of animals, insects and plant life that once lived and grew on the earth hundreds, thousands and millions of years ago. These fossil leave record that provides clues to the earth’s history.
From the microscopic fossils of an arthopod to the gigantic titanosaur, humans continue to be fascinated with discovering something embedded in ancient sediment. Palentologists identify fossils much like biologists idenitify the discovery of a new species of animal or plant life. They are classified, named and organized based on their characteristics.
In the scientific world, the scientist who makes the discovery also earns the naming rights. Frequently, the names are quite scientific, using Latin or Greek roots. However, paleontologists are a creative bunch. For example, the Bambiraptor Feinbergi discovered in 1993 by fourteen-year-old Wes Linster means Bambi thief. One trilobite made it into the record books as Aegrotocatellus jaggeri after the rock legend, Mick Jagger. A more recent entry, One of the latest additions to the fossil library, Dracorex hogwartsia, honors the Hogwarts family.
HOW TO OBSERVE
Visit a local museum or do some research about fossils. Use #NationalFossilDay to post on social media.
National Fossil Day was first held on October 13, 2010, during Earth Science Week. National Fossil Day was established to promote the scientific and educational values of fossils. This nationwide celebration was first held on October 13, 2010, during Earth Science Week. The National Park Service and over 270 partners, including museums, institutions, organizations and other groups hosted events across the United States allowing the public opportunities to learn more about the world’s fossil heritage.
Each year a new National Fossil Day logo is created depicting a prehistoric organism. The logos help to promote National Fossil Day and provide educational opportunities to share more information about fossils. The original National Fossil Day logo was created in 2010 and featured a fossil mammal known as the titanothere. In 2011, the marine reptile known as the mosasaur was used in the National Fossil Day logo. During 2012, the mammoth was featured in the annual logo. For 2013, a Paleozoic invertebrate known as the eurypterid is highlighted in the annual logo.
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