Last year around this time, I shared with you my excitement about the upcoming A Step Into Africa Exhibit, and more specifically, my work on the Dig Zone. It was such an honor to be able to develop the content for that area and so much fun to create the “fossils” that would be buried for children to find. Passing along my enthusiasm for paleontology to the next generation is an amazing experience.
I am excited to announce that some bigger and better things are coming to the Dig Zone this spring! I am working on creating some new, weatherproof versions of some bigger creatures from 1.8 million years ago, including some substantial bones of Elephas recki, the nearly 15,000-pound elephant that lived in Africa at that time! We plan to add fossils from a variety of species: rhino, hyena, warthog, river hog, wildebeest, lion, giraffe, kudu and an extinct species of ostrich.
My goal is to make the dig experience easier for our little guests and still exciting for our young-at-heart visitors. Along with the fossils themselves, we will include pages in our “field guides” so you can learn more about these amazing creatures and why the discovery of their remains is so important to understanding life in Africa today. These additional fossils also help to achieve our goal of having the exhibit change over time so that regular visitors won’t always have the same experience.
I hope you enjoy the photo gallery of the fossil creation process in this blog. They are a sneak peak to what you can expect when you come dig at our version of Olduvai Gorge this spring!
Photos by Tina Crandall-Gommel
– Tina Crandall-Gommel, Conservation Education Coordinator