Programs & Events

National Fossil Day

Program Number: 
Program Type: 
Oct. 17, 2012 | Wednesday, 12:00pm
Multiple Times: 
Location: Museum of Natural Sciences


Plants form the base of the food web in terrestrial ecosystem and learning more about them improves our understanding of ancient ecological relationships. The distribution and structure of vertebrate and plant communities are intertwined through feeding relationships and the physical setting. Come learn about the insights fossil plants provide about landscapes and life of the distant past.

Eva Koppelhus by a fossil tree trunkCretaceous Park: The Ancient Paleo Environment of Dinosaur Provincial Park

Eva Koppelhus, Biological Science, University of Alberta

Dinosaur Park is world famous for its richness in dinosaur fossils, however, these dinosaurs would not have had a good life without an environment rich in plants and other animals. This talk will give insight to what environment the dinosaurs lived and died in.

Why Eat Wood?  Fossilized Feces Provide Surprising Insights Into Dinosaur Diets

Karen Chin, Universtiy of Colorado, Boulder

Fossilized feces (coprolites) from herbivorous dinosaurs are rare, but some remarkable specimens have been found.  An unusual suite of 75 million year-old coprolites from Montana offers intriguing glimpses of dinosaur feeding behavior.

Fossils from the Land of Sheba – Ethiopia’s Forested Past

Bonnie Jacobs, Roy M. Huffington Department of  Earth Sciences, Southern Methodist University

Paleobotanical research on the Ethiopian Plateau documents a rich forest quite different from modern African forests, and tells us about the habitat in which an ancient endemic fauna lived when Africa was an island continent 27 million years ago.  A land connection formed with Eurasia about 23 million years ago, forests changed, and at the same time the stage was set for the evolution of the iconic landscapes and faunas we know today.

Really Old Growth Forests. 100 Million Years of Hardwood History

Elisabeth Wheeler, N.C. State University

Fossil woods of flowering plants occur on all continents, including Antarctica, and tell tales of ancient landscapes and changing climates.  Study of the microscopic structure of wood and the patterns of water conducting cells is a useful tool in interpreting ancient environment.

Triassic Times

James Mickle, N.C. State University