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Join in on the fun of observing history throughout the many years via the preservation of the remains of ancient organisms. National Fossil Day is here for learning, observing, educating and celebrating this phenomenon that has cast so much light on the earth’s past. 

History of National Fossil Day

Founded in the United States in 2010 by a senior paleontologist from the National Parks Service, Vincent L. Stannuci, National Fossil Day offers a delightful opportunity for humans of all ages to celebrate their geologic history.

Originating as a day focused on fossils that ran during Earth Science Week, this day has evolved on its own and now has partners in all 50 of the US states. The day continues to be supported by the National Parks Service, hosting many events and programs through its partnerships with the Geological Society of America, Paleontological Society, Smithsonian, the American Museum of National History and many other partners.

National Fossil Day is here to remind people of where they have been and celebrate the science and history behind this knowledge!

How to Celebrate National Fossil Day

Tons of fun and educational opportunities can be found to enjoy and celebrate National Fossil Day! Try out some of these ways for celebrating the day, or come up with some creative ideas of your own:

Visit a Museum with a Fossil Exhibit

What could be a better way to celebrate National Fossil Day than to enjoy viewing some fossils that come from ancient times? Consider popping by one of these museums to check out their fossil displays:

  • The Field Museum in Chicago, Illinois, USA. This museum offers a huge array of dinosaur bones, fossils and tons of other displays related to the natural history of the world.
  • Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History in Washington DC, USA. People visiting this museum can go far back into deep time with the jaw-dropping collection of fossils on display.
  • Wyoming Dinosaur Center in Thermopolis, Wyoming, USA. Visitors can not only observe the majesty of ancient bones at this museum, but they can also get their hands dirty and get involved in many different interactive displays and programs.
  • Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County in California, USA. Offering access to nearly 35 million specimens and artifacts that cover more than 4 billion years.

Those who don’t have easy access to a fossil museum close to home might want to visit the Virtual Fossil Museum, which is an online educational resource that can be accessed through the internet.

Enter the National Fossil Day Sponsored Art Contest

With themes that change each year, the National Parks Service typically hosts an art contest in celebration of National Fossil Day. People of all ages are encouraged to submit a piece of artwork that is inspired by fossils after the theme is announced each Spring. Past themes have included:

  • 2018: The Age of Reptiles – More Than Just Dinosaurs
  • 2017: The Future of Fossils: People Studying and Caring for Our Fossil Heritage
  • 2015: Postcards from the Past
  • 2011: Fossils in my Backyard

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