I first heard of tar when we lived in North Carolina, hence the term: Tar-Heel. I never would’ve guessed that a whole fossil site was within driving distance from where we now stay!
And fossils — that’s the magic word for my girls. While they have never watched the Ice Age movies, their books and their love for science and animals have led us to understand a little bit more about the past that is buried beneath our feet.
It’s quite the joyful experience for me when we discover something new together. The learner in me enjoys taking them to these new places — and it’s such a treat when I learn something new along with them.
Who know about the vast number of dire wolves in California? There are 400 on the wall there so far.
Or that a Columbian Mammoth that’s the most complete they’ve found (so far)?!
They all say “so far” — because there are still ongoing excavations.
The girls got to ask questions from a paleontologist who was at Project 23, the most recent dig site. Ever the naiveté, here I thought they’d found everything there was to be found in the last century. Apparently not! They claim to have found 3.5 million fossils to date, and the count continues to grow. It’s a reason to go back — because you never know what’s new to be featured a few months from now, or even a few years from now!
Considering it was a small museum, we spent a good portion of our day there (apart from a quick lunch break across the street), studying a bunch of the fossils they’ve discovered. Plus, my children like to read all the descriptions.
The girls were fascinated as well by the Fossil lab where the scientists were at work on some of their current finds.
It’s like a big prehistoric jigsaw puzzle with no guide — and they find things out as they go along. Or they use the parts they find to figure out the story behind why all those fossils are piled one on top of the other! A predatory kill perhaps? So much tar has to be cleaned off though!
The Tar is fascinating as much as it is scary. It’s still bubbling the girls said. You could still fall in?! *clutch children closer*
#FieldtripFriday tip: Buy your tickets ahead of time so you can go straight to the entrance. Add $5 to attend an Ice Age encounter. The girls enjoyed it because there was a talking Sabertooth.
And finally, the photo fossil book is a worthy keepsake souvenir. Thanks Maga! 😉