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​National Fossil Day

Dive into prehistoric times this National Fossil Day! Unearth the mysteries of our planet's ancient past one fossil at a time!
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When it is?
October 16
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United States
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Dinosaurs, trilobites, and ammonites, oh my! On October 16, we celebrate National Fossil Day, a fantastic chance to dig deep into our earth's history and the ancient creatures that once roamed our planet. This fascinating day was first established by the National Park Service and the American Geosciences Institute in 2010 to promote public awareness and education about fossils. Since then, fossil enthusiasts and paleontologists alike have used this day to share their passion and discoveries with the world. So grab your explorer hat, and let's embark on a thrilling journey into our planet's prehistoric past this National Fossil Day!

History of ​National Fossil Day

​National Fossil Day Timeline

<div class='timeline-item'><div class='timeline-left'><div class='timeline-date-text'>1666</div></div><div class='timeline-center'></div><div class='timeline-right'><div class='timeline-text timeline-text-title'>First Recognized Fossil Study</div><div class='timeline-text'>Nicholas Steno, a Danish scientist, pioneered the study of fossils with his work on shark teeth, questioning their origin and laying the groundwork for paleontology.</div></div></div><div class='timeline-item'><div class='timeline-left'><div class='timeline-date-text'>1809</div></div><div class='timeline-center'></div><div class='timeline-right'><div class='timeline-text timeline-text-title'>Birth of Paleontology</div><div class='timeline-text'>French scientist Georges Cuvier published his research confirming the reality of species extinction, effectively giving birth to the science of paleontology.</div></div></div><div class='timeline-item'><div class='timeline-left'><div class='timeline-date-text'>1824</div></div><div class='timeline-center'></div><div class='timeline-right'><div class='timeline-text timeline-text-title'>First Dinosaur Discovery</div><div class='timeline-text'>The first scientifically documented dinosaur fossil, Megalosaurus, was discovered by British geologist William Buckland.</div></div></div><div class='timeline-item'><div class='timeline-left'><div class='timeline-date-text'>1902</div></div><div class 'timeline-center'></div><div class='timeline-right'><div class='timeline-text timeline-text-title'>T-Rex Discovery</div><div class='timeline-text'>The first Tyrannosaurus Rex fossil was found by Barnum Brown in Montana, making it one of the most iconic dinosaur discoveries.</div></div></div><div class='timeline-item'><div class='timeline-left'><div class='timeline-date-text'>1978</div></div><div class='timeline-center'></div><div class='timeline-right'><div class='timeline-text timeline-text-title'>"Dinosaur Renaissance"</div><div class='timeline-text'>The late 20th century saw a renewed public and scientific interest in fossils and paleontology, often called the "Dinosaur Renaissance".</div></div></div><div class='timeline-item'><div class='timeline-left'><div class='timeline-date-text'>2010</div></div><div class='timeline-center'></div><div class='timeline-right'><div class='timeline-text timeline-text-title'>Inception of National Fossil Day</div><div class='timeline-text'>The National Park Service and the American Geosciences Institute established National Fossil Day to promote public awareness and education about fossils.</div></div></div>

How to Celebrate ​National Fossil Day

<div class='facts-item'><div class='facts-header'><h3 class='facts-number'>1</h3></div><div class='facts-text-wrapper'><h3 class='facts-title'>Visit a museum</h3><p class='facts-text'>Take a trip to your local natural history or science museum to see the fossil exhibits.  Many museums even have interactive displays that can provide a more in-depth look at the world of fossils.</p></div></div><div class='facts-item'><div class='facts-header'><h3 class='facts-number'>2</h3></div><div class='facts-text-wrapper'><h3 class='facts-title'>Create fossil art</h3><p class='facts-text'>Use clay or plaster to create your own fossils.  You can find plastic bones or shells at the craft store to press into the material.  Once it dries you'll have your very own homemade fossil!</p></div></div><div class='facts-item'><div class='facts-header'><h3 class='facts-number'>3</h3></div><div class='facts-text-wrapper'><h3 class='facts-title'>Read a book about fossils</h3><p class='facts-text'>Visit your local library and check out a book about fossils.  This can be an informative and exciting way to learn more about these prehistoric items and the creatures they clone from.</p></div></div><div class='facts-item'><div class='facts-header'><h3 class='facts-number'>4</h3></div><div class='facts-text-wrapper'><h3 class='facts-title'>Participate in a fossil hunt</h3><p class='facts-text'>Many areas have fossil hunting trips that you can join.  These trips can be a fun and exciting way to spend National Fossil Day and you may even find a fossil of your own to take home!</p></div></div><div class='facts-item'><div class='facts-header'><h3 class='facts-number'>5</h3></div><div class='facts-text-wrapper'><h3 class='facts-title'>Make a fossil display</h3><p class='facts-text'>If you already have a collection of fossils, use National Fossil Day as an opportunity to create a new display.  You can arrange your fossils in a shadow box or even create a full-blown exhibit in your house!</p></div></div>

Why ​National Fossil Day is Important

<div id='' class='whywelove-item'><div id='' class='whywelove-letter-cont'><div class='whywelove-letter'>A</div></div><div id='why-we-love-main-cont'><h3 id='' class='whywelove-title'>An Opportunity for Learning and Discovery</h3><p id='' class='whywelove-text'>National Fossil Day focuses on the scientific and educational value that fossils provide. It is a perfect occasion to learn about our planet's geological history and the evolution of life. Children and adults alike can gain a deeper understanding of paleontology and geoscience, inspiring curiosity and fascination in Earth's past.</p></div></div><div id='' class='whywelove-item'><div id='' class='whywelove-letter-cont'><div class='whywelove-letter'>B</div></div><div id='why-we-love-main-cont'><h3 id='' class='whywelove-title'>Exciting Activities and Engagement</h3><p id='' class='whywelove-text'>National Fossil Day includes a host of engaging activities like fossil hunting, creating fossil-inspired art, or watching documentaries about prehistoric life. These activities not only provide fun and entertainment but also offer a hands-on experience that enhances understanding and appreciation for fossils.</p></div></div><div id='' class='whywelove-item'><div id='' class='whywelove-letter-cont'><div class='whywelove-letter'>C</div></div><div id='why-we-love-main-cont'><h3 id='' class='whywelove-title'>Connection with Ancient Life</h3><p id='' class='whywelove-text'>Fossils are not just pieces of old rocks; they are a direct link to ancient life forms that once roamed the Earth, some of which have no modern equivalents. Celebrating National Fossil Day allows us to connect with these extinct creatures and imagine life millions of years ago.</p></div></div>

5 Dino-mite Facts for National Fossil Day

​National Fossil Day FAQs

​National Fossil Day Dates







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