My little Paleontologist

Last summer I took Julia to Ithaca, NY to see Laurie Berkner, we only made it about 5 minutes into the show cause: 1) it was around naptime, 2) it was loud, and 3) it started late. ANYWAY, my little Julia is a huge fan of science, dinosaurs, and space. I give 50% credit to the fact that her mom is a scientist and 50% credit for They Might Be Giants putting out the insanely great album and DVD Here Comes Science. I’m not kidding. I’m a fan for 25 years so I love that she loves every song, but I’ll leave the album review for another post. This post is about something we found on the way home from Ithaca.

The Paleontological Research Institution’s Museum Of The Earth

Architecturally the place is bad ass. It was designed by Weiss/Manfredi, please don’t sue me for using your photo.

The first thing you need to do is get REALLY LUCKY and pick a special open-to-the-public-get-in-free day like we did accidentally.

Among the stuff there is a 44-foot whale skeleton hanging in the lobby, and the Hyde Park Mastodon is a feature there as well. If you don’t know about the Hyde Park Mastodon I’ll fill you in. In a nutshell a guy named Larry Lozier was deepening a pond on his property and he happened to find a Mastodon skeleton perfectly preserved. Check this out. This too.

It’s an interesting place for adults but I thought it was really engaging for kids. There was a ton of stuff to do including piles of rocks and tools for kids to use to dust the rocks and examine them for fossils. We were also allowed to take one home (I think, we took some anyway, I hope that was OK).

From their site:

-Journey 540 million years back in time with the extraordinary 500 foot mural, Rock of Ages Sands of Time, depicting fossils from the dawn of macroscopic life to the present.

– Discover the origins of our planet and its life through four state-of-the-art Audio-Visual Theatre Presentations.

-Experience what life was like in three ancient worlds of New York State: Beneath and Ancient Sea, Where Dinosaurs Walked, and A World Carved by Ice.

-Marvel at the skeleton of the Hyde Park Mastodon, one of the most complete skeletons ever found.

-Touch and feel history through hands-on exploration of fossils at the Discovery Stations – Fossil Lab and Dino Lab!

– Study the life and death of Right Whale #2030, an endangered whale species, as the actual 44-foot skeleton floats above.

-Witness specimens being prepared for research in the Fossil Preparation Lab.

-Delve further into the Earth and Earth System Change through rotating exhibitions, public programs, field trips, events, lectures, and publications.

I wasn’t planning on blogging about the museum while I was there so I didn’t really take a ton of photos. We were busy playing and exploring.

Museum of the Earth: Julia dusting off fossils. Holy CRAP she looks young and this is only a YEAR ago.

Museum of the Earth: Julia looking at fossils.

Museum of the Earth

If you’re near Ithaca, NY this museum is a must see.

While you’re there, go see Taughannock Falls. Ithaca IS Gorges.

Ithaca Falls

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