Programs & Events


Program Number: 
Program Type: 
Nov. 16, 2013 | Saturday, 9:00am
Multiple Times: 
Location: Museum of Natural Sciences

Paul Brinkman cleaning the in situ skull of Nancy the EdmontosaurusGot dino fever? Fossil Fair, the nation’s largest event dedicated to paleontology puts the latest science and breaking discoveries on display. Festivities abound with dozens of displays, activities and presentations by paleontologists from North Carolina and around the world.

Discover what it’s like to be a paleontologist, experience the tools and techniques used to excavate fossils in the field, and be the first to learn about the Museum’s newest discoveries as you meet the experts face to face. 

Talk with Curator of Paleontology Vince Schneider and see some of the 230-million-year-old reptiles he’s discovered in nearby Chatham County. Get introduced to residents of the Dinosaur Death Pit by Dr. Lindsay Zanno, Director of the Paleontology & Geology Research Lab. Meet Historian of Science Dr. Paul Brinkman, author of “The Second Jurassic Dinosaur Rush” and an expert in dinomania and the modern obsession with all things Jurassic. And don’t forget to visit our state-of-the-art fossil preparation lab in the Museum’s new wing — the Nature Research Center — where you get a behind-the-scenes pass with Chief Preparator Lisa Herzog.

  • Watch artist Stacy Lewis create a watermedia painting of an Estemmenosuchus.
  • Bring in your own discoveries for identification or uncover fossils to identify as you sift through a load of Aurora fossil sediment. 
  • Check out our “Ancient Animals” table with a live ball python, uromastyx lizard and an alligator. 
  • Learn about fossil plants of North Carolina and fossil sharks and shells with experts from North Carolina State University. 
  • Make your own dino-craft, watch a molding and casting demonstration, purchase replica fossils, and much more!

Go behind the scenes in the Paleontology & Geology Research Lab where you can witness fossil preparation in action, learn about the paleo team’s latest fossil expeditions, and meet dinosaur, crocodile, and turtle species so new we haven’t even given them names yet.

  • Get a sneak peak of the Museum’s newest dinosaur — a 30-foot-long Cretaceous megapredator.
  • Meet one of the most ancient crocodiles ever discovered, a bizarre new species from here in North Carolina.
  • Get up close and personal with the feathered dinosaur Falcarius.
  • Learn about research on dinosaur soft tissue and meet Nancy, a beautifully preserved duck-billed dinosaur.
  • Watch preparators clean newly excavated fossils.


SECU Daily Planet Presentations
10:00 am T. rex Under the Microscope: A New Look at Old Bones
Mary Higby Schweitzer
Professor, Marine, Earth and Atmospheric Sciences and Biology, NC State University
Curator, NC Museum of Natural Sciences

Ages 12 and older, please
11:30 am

Primitive Parrots and Fossil Frogmouths: The Remarkable Ancient American Avifauna
Dr. Daniel T. Ksepka
National Evolutionary Synthesis Center
All ages welcome

Fossil discoveries have revealed remarkable and unexpected birds once roamed North America. Come meet some of these unusual feathered fossils and learn their secrets.

1:00 pm In the Time before T. rex: A Colossal New Discovery Changes Our Views on Megapredatory Dinosaur Evolution During the Cretaceous
Dr. Lindsay E. Zanno
Director, Paleontology & Geology Research Lab, NC Museum of Natural Sciences &
Assistant Research Professor, Department of Biological Sciences, NC State University

All ages welcome
2:30 pm Chasing Blastoids around the World: The Fossil Record of Paleozoic Echinoderms
Johnny Waters, Professor of Geology
Department of Geology, Appalachian State University
All ages welcome
4:00 pm

Fossil Primates from Egypt and Madagascar — Origins and Extinctions
Dr. Gregg F. Gunnell
Director, Division of Fossil Primates, Duke University Lemur Center
All ages welcome

Fossils housed at the Division of Fossil Primates can be used to document origins and extinctions in the primate fossil record. Fossil primates from Egypt document the origin of higher primates (Anthropoidea) while subfossils from Madagascar document the extinction of giant lemurs on the island.


Windows on the World Presentations
10:30 am A dramatic scene from the La Brea tar pits by John Conrad Hansen. Field Museum 84484c.John Conrad Hansen’s Amazing Illustrations of Fossil Vertebrates
Paul D. Brinkman, PhD
Assistant Director of the Paleontology & Geology Research Laboratory
NC Museum of Natural Sciences

All ages welcome
11:30 am Meet the Animals: ANCIENT ANIMALS
12:30 pm Meet the Animals: ANCIENT ANIMALS
1:30 pm Meet the Animals: ANCIENT ANIMALS
2:30 pm Meet the Animals: ANCIENT ANIMALS
3:30 pm

The Formation, Discovery, and Conservation of the Mammoth Site
Isaiah Reed
Volunteer Fossil Preparator/Geology Student at Appalachian State University
All Ages

A brief summary of the formation of the Mammoth Site in Hot Springs, South Dakota, and the conditions that make it a unique and valuable site. Followed by a description of how it was found, and how it is being preserved.

The third floor bridge will be open for the event!

3D Movies

Don’t miss today’s fossil-related 3D movies in the WRAL 3D Theater! See wooly mammoths, saber-toothed cats and other ice age beasts in Titans of the Ice Age at 10am and at 2pm.  At noon and 4pm learn how paleontologists and scientifically accurate computer-generated animation bring dinosaurs back to life in Dinosaurs Alive!  

Learn more/buy tickets for 3D movies



Fossil Dig
NC Museum of Natural Sciences

First Floor Nature Exploration Center*

North Carolina Fossil Club Membership Table
North Carolina Fossil Club

Fossil Marine Vertebrate Sharks and Rays from the Atlantic Coastal Plain

The Triassic World
Paleontology Unit, NC Museum of Natural Sciences

Fossil Puzzles
Paleontology Unit, NC Museum of Natural Sciences

North Carolina Fossils
The Dinosaur Hunters

Make Your Own Dino Feet! Kids' Craft
NC Museum of Natural Sciences

Dinosaur Masks Kids' Craft
NC Museum of Natural Sciences

Fossil Sharks and Shells
North Carolina Fossil Club

Sharks' Teeth and Jaws
North Carolina Fossil Club

Life from Ancient Waters
North Carolina Fossil Club

East Carolina University

Fossils of the Cape Fear Region
NC Museum of Natural Sciences Field Associate

Madagascar Fossils & Living Lemurs: What We Learn from Them
Duke Lemur Center & Division of Fossil Primates

Fossil Cephalopods
NC Museum of Natural Sciences, Paleontology Unit

Second Floor Nature Exploration Center*

Mini Fossils and Coprolite
North Carolina Fossil Club

Stones n' Bones
North Carolina Fossil Club

Third Floor Nature Exploration Center*

North Carolina Fossils
North Carolina Fossil Club

Paleontology at Appalachian State University
Department of Geology, ASU

Dinosaur Egg Kids' Craft
NC Museum of Natural Sciences

They Could Be Dinosaurs
NC Museum of Natural Sciences

A Few of Our Favorite Things
Aurora Fossil Museum

Virginia Museum of Natural History Paleontology Department

Dinosaurs and More
North Carolina Fossil Club

Schiele Museum of Natural History

North Carolina Fossil Club

Fossil Wood Facts
NC State University

Fossil Plants of North Carolina
NC State University Paleobotany Laboratory

Estemmenosuchus Watermedia Painting Demo
Stacy Lewis Studio

First Floor Nature Research Center

Fossil Fair Buttons
NC Museum of Natural Sciences

Dinosaur Tattoos

Second Floor Nature Research Center

North Carolina Fossil Club

North Carolina Plant Fossils

Third Floor Nature Research Center

Dino Match Game
NC Museum of Natural Sciences

Fossils: Recent Finds and Fabled Favorites
North Carolina Fossil Club

Paleontology and Geology Research Lab will be open to the public!

*Nature Exploration Center = Main building