National Fossil Day at Sternberg

In celebration of National Fossil Day, the Sternberg Museum of Natural History will host several events on Wednesday, Oct. 15, featuring Kansas’ state fossils.

On Friday, April 4, a bill was signed into law by Govenor Brownback naming the Tylosaurus and Pteranodon as Kansas’ state fossils.

The Sternberg Museum of Natural History features both types of Pteranodon sternbergi and a complete Tylosaurus collected mounted by George Sternberg in the Cretaceous fossil gallery. Life-sized models of these creatures are also prominent in our Cretaceous dioramas.


How they are celebrating

9 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. Kindergarten through 12 grade students tour special exhibits, focusing on the study of fossils.

4 – 6 p.m. Guests bring their own fossils and rocks to be identified by the museum’s scientists Post rock carving and “Post Rock Country” book signing by Brad Penka; and guided tours of fossil gallery and zoology and paleontology collections.

7 – 9 p.m. FHSU graduate students will host special talks about their studies in paleontology.

7 p.m. Ian Trevethan, museum educator, talks about the Mosasaur thermoregulation.

7:30 p.m. Mackenzie Kirchner-Smith talks about the Hesperornis and the morphology of the diving bird foot. 8 p.m. Thomas Buskuskie talks about dinosaurs in Kansas.

8:30 p.m. Kelsie Abrams talks about the diet and ecology of Teleoceras rhinoceros.*

Fossil Day falls on the Wednesday of Earth Science Week, which is the second week in October.

“I think it’s just a great opportunity to use for educating people within the community…on not only what our fossil resources are, but also why they are important to study, how we study them, what they tell us and why it’s important to preserve them for future generations to learn about,” said Laura Wilson, assistant professor of geosciences.

Admission is free all day to exhibits and special programs

For instructors interested in having classes attend the National Fossil Day Event, please contact Sternberg’s David Levering, education director, at To contact the Sternberg Museum, please visit their website at or call (785) 628-4286.

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