National Fossil Day 2022

Visit the Alabama Museum of Natural History on Saturday, October 15 from 1:00 – 4:00 pm for a free event to celebrate National Fossil Day and the scientific and educational value of paleontology and the importance of preserving fossils for future generations! Join us for a National Fossil Day celebration focused on Alabama’s fossil heritage! National Fossil Day Poster

National Fossil Day at the Alabama Museum of Natural History (ALMNH) is one of the very few events in Alabama where people with a budding interest in fossils, avocational (hobby) paleontologists, students, and professionals get together to learn about different fossils and the people involved. This will be an afternoon full of activities not to be missed! Visitors will learn how to sift and identify real shark teeth and handle real fossils from marine animals, dinosaurs, and plants. There will be various tables highlighting extinct animals and plants from Alabama’s 500 million-year-long fossil record. At those tables, people can also learn about paleontology at UA and about paleontological clubs in Alabama. Furthermore, there will be three exciting presentations about a brand-new book on ancient life in Alabama, giant extinct marine reptiles swimming in ancient Alabama, and an award to an avocational paleontologist! People can also enjoy the existing fossil exhibits in the ALMNH. At least one table will give away some fossils.

“The museum is thrilled to participate in National Fossil Day and showcase the rich fossil history in Alabama,” said Joyia Davis, Education Outreach Coordinator at the Alabama Museum of Natural History. “We hope to encourage young people to be engaged in paleontology and get them excited about learning!”

Tables with fossils will be up from 1:00 – 4:00 pm. At 1:30 – 2:00 pm, Dr. Bill Deutsch will be giving a book presentation on Ancient Life in Alabama: The Fossils, the Finders, and Why It Matters. At 2:30 – 3:15 pm, Dr. Becky Totten will be giving the keynote talk, “Did mosasaurs drink freshwater? A new study of the fiercest predators in Alabama’s ancient oceans”. Wrapping up the event will be a presentation at 3:30 – 4:00 pm to award the Alabama Avocational Paleontology Award to this year’s recipient.

Dr. Adiel Klompmaker (Curator of Paleontology, The University of Alabama Museums) considers Fossil Day to be an opportunity for the next generation of Alabama citizens as well as future paleontologists, to understand and appreciate the history of these state.

“Fossils tell the history of life in Alabama, in the United States, and on our planet. They provide critical information about past biodiversity as well as changes in the environment and climate that we can use today. Fossils also have great societal importance for teaching, museum exhibits, and outreach. The scientific and societal value of fossils is tremendous and will inspire many generations to come, so highlighting paleontology during National Fossil Day makes a lot of sense. In Alabama, we should celebrate our very rich natural prehistory,” said Dr. Klompmaker, UA Museums’ Curator of Paleontology.