North Texas Daily

UNT celebrates first North Texas Fossil Day

UNT celebrates first North Texas Fossil Day

October 17
00:52 2012

Trent Johnson / Staff Writer

Today marks the first-ever North Texas Fossil Day, sponsored by the department of geography.

The free event takes place today from 1 to 9 p.m. in the UNT Environmental Education, Science and Technology building.

The event serves as a platform for professors and experts to spread fossil awareness while also relaying the importance of fossils and their value in society.

“Fossil Day gives us a chance to promote the ideas what fossils are about,” geography lecturer George Maxey said. “They teach us about the history of our planet, and the event will hopefully get people to appreciate fossils.”

Fossil Day will have numerous activities for attendees, including a fossil dig, two movies, door prizes, a dinosaur nest and a display of dinosaur fossils.

The department will also unveil two fish fossils found in Denton this July for the first time.

Both of the fossils are estimated to be between 85 and 90 million years old.

“The whole idea of these fossils are about change,” Maxey said. “These fossils show you what this exact area looked like millions of years ago. Looking at fossil life through time shows the change.”

Though Fossil Day is on a college campus, the Elm Fork Education Center will host activities for younger children to enjoy as well.

“We’re the ones in charge of all the kids that come through,” said Brian Wheeler, assistant director of the Elm Fork Education Center. “I think it’s great for the kids to get a view of what Denton looked like when we were underwater, because most people don’t know this place was part of the ocean.”

With the help of volunteers, Fossil Day has become a group effort from the geography department.

“We have volunteers helping me,” Maxey said. “We had to get signs made, we had to collect fossils for the dig, but people have contributed great ideas for the event.”

The event will also feature members of the Dallas Paleontological Society who will be on hand from 3 to 9 p.m. to identify visitors’ archeological specimens.

“Yeah I’m looking forward to it,” business sophomore Mike Anunda said. “I was a big ‘Jurassic Park’ fan as a kid, so I have always had a side interest in fossils.”

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