Dinosaur museum offering free admission

Special to the QCS

Mesalands Community College’s Dinosaur Museum will be celebrating National Fossil Day with free admission to visitors under the age of 12, accompanied by an adult on Friday and Saturday.

National Fossil Day is an event sponsored by the National Parks Service to promote public awareness and stewardship of fossils, as well as to foster a greater appreciation of their scientific and educational value.

“This is a great opportunity to increase awareness of the importance of preserving fossils and promoting science education,” said Axel Hungerbuehler, Natural Sciences/Museum curator and a faculty member at Mesalands.

During National Fossil Day the dinosaur museum will have a new exhibit entitled, “Student Field Discoveries.” This exhibit will showcase fossils that were discovered in Quay County during the summer paleontology field discovery classes at Mesalands. This exhibit will also include fossils collected by younger students, ages 9 to 12 during Summer Adventure Camp.

“We would like everyone to come out to the Museum on National Fossil Day to learn more about plants and animals that lived millions of years ago, and how we preserve these fossils for future generations,” said Gretchen Gurtler, director of the Dinosaur Museum.

The Dinosaur Museum will be offering tours of the science laboratory on Friday and Saturday at 12:30 p.m., 2 p.m., and 4 p.m., in which visitors will learn the steps to prepare fossils for exhibits in the Museum.

Young visitors to the Museum on National Fossil Day will receive an ammonite. An ammonite is an extinct squid-like animal that lived in a coiled shell during the Cretaceous period, approximately 75 million years ago.

The National Fossil Day activities at the Dinosaur Museum are sponsored by Fossil Friends and other museum volunteers.

For more information, contact the Mesalands Community College’s Dinosaur Museum at (575) 461-3466 (DINO), or by visiting the Museum at 222 East Laughlin Ave., Tucumcari.

The museum’s winter hours are Tuesday Saturday noon to 5 p.m.