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The Fossil Guy: “The Rise of Mammals”

Event Details

April 27, 2013 2:00 PM
Location: Museum of Natural History, Macbride Hall
17 North Clinton Street
Iowa City, IA / 52242
Contact Name: Sarah Horgen
Email: sarah-horgen@uiowa.edu
Phone: 319-335-0606
Website: www.uiowa.edu/mnh

Event Description

Don Johnson, “The Fossil Guy,” returns this spring with educational programs at 2:00pm on Saturday afternoons at the University Of Iowa Museum Of Natural History. All “Fossil Guy” programs are free and open to the public and will be held in Macbride Hall auditorium. Each program consists of a 30-minute talk by Johnson, a local avocational paleontologist, followed by 30 minutes of hands-on interactive time with Don’s collection of fossils and replicas. Presentations are geared toward elementary-age children.

The extinction of dinosaurs at the end of the “Age of Dinosaurs” 65 million years ago provided an opportunity for relatively small mammals to evolve to great size, diversify, and flourish across our planet. What were mammals like during the Age of Dinosaurs? What are some of the major groups of mammals and when did they appear in the fossil record? What can we learn about the diets of these many fossil mammals by studying their teeth? This program will answer these questions by focusing on three major groups of mammals. First, we will study fossils including many skulls of mammals that lived in the Western U.S. 30 million years ago. Attendees will then be able to see and touch replica and mineralized bones, skulls and jaws from Ice Age mammals living from 2.6 million years ago to 11,700 years ago around the world. These mammals include saber-tooth cats, dire wolves, cave bears, bison, giant deer, ground sloths, armored glyptodonts, and even mammoths and mastodons! We will also use a microscope to examine tiny fossils of mammals from the Age of Dinosaurs. Don will also share his experiences hunting for & excavating fossil mammals from Iowa & beyond.