Paleontology Presentation by James Burns

Last week, our group met up for a paleontology presentation by James Burns. Mr. Burns is a graduate, student and teacher of History at Lamar University.

During the presentation the children learned that paleontologists like to “dig in the dirt” for fossils. They discovered that some fossils are formed by little pieces of the bone being replaced with sandstone and until the bone turns to rock, and that some fossils are as small as grains of rice. They also learned about the way that paleontologists collect fossils (by sifting them through nets or bags in the water) and that it takes many bags of dirt to collect two small piles of what may be fossils.

The diverse age range of children in attendance prompted a variety of questions; some simple and many that were quite in depth. The children sat surprisingly still and were mesmerized by the dinosaur bone pictures and discussion. The mothers held their collective breath so as not to break the kids’ intense concentration!

Mr. Burns wrapped up his presentation by handing around several fossils and casts. The children (and moms) were delighted to actually be allowed to hold and examine a mammoth bone, a Megalodon tooth, and vertebrae from an ancient dinosaur.

Afterwards, we all gathered around for an amazing taco buffet while the children played and polished their billiard skills.

Many thanks to Mr. Burns for coming out to talk with the kids!

~Crystal

Many thanks also to the Free’s, for opening their home and hosting this event!

TH

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