Saturday, June 22, 2013

Digging at the Dinosaur Museum!

We visited the Missouri Institute of Natural Science Tuesday and got to dig for fossils!  Real ones! We started out in the museum and looked at our favorite exhibits again.  Then moved to the ice block table.  Dinosaurs were frozen in a big chunk of ice and the children learned how researchers have to slowly removing rock or ice or dirt from fossils so they can be removed in one piece.  They showed this by allowing the children to put warm water one drop at a time on the dinosaur toys until they FINALLY came out.  Some kids didn't even get one out in their time.  Sometimes researchers have to pass on the responsibility, too.  Good lesson here.
Next, the researchers showed us some real fossils that are found in Missouri.  These are called crinoids.  They told us that crinoids are underwater animals that look like plants, much like coral.  The segments we find are the stalk of the plant-like animal.  Click here to learn more about the crinoid.  Then we went for a short walk up the hill to find our own crinoids.  Can you see them here?  The black arrows are pointing at the donut shaped crinoid fossils in the rock.  This is evidence that Missouri used to be underwater!

Next, we set to work.  Here's my little paleontologist on the hunt for her own crinoid fossils.  We got quite a good collection.  We even found a rock that looks a lot like a seashell.
Kids on the fossil rock at the "Dino Museum."
Wandering around after our "dig."

 After we found our fossils we took a look around at what activities the library had for us.  Ms K really enjoyed the Alphabet dig.  She found quite a few letters!

Ms Z made a rubbing of a leaf that looked a lot like how fossil would look.  All the kids enjoyed reading some dinosaur and ice age related books, making their own stegosaurus with a model and clothespins, and playing with clay and models to make foot prints and impressions just like fossils.  We had a great time and learned so much!  What fun things are you up to lately?

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