The Northeast Texas Children’s Museum has announced the opening of a new exhibit showcasing North Texas fossils.
The exhibit features a fossil dig box brimming with casts of dinosaur teeth, prehistoric seashells and other dinosaur bones for children to discover.
To commemorate the exhibit opening, the Children’s Museum is hosting a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Wednesday, May 17 at 10:00 a.m.
The Fossil Dig exhibit features a multi-panel display, showcasing prehistoric sea creatures who lived in northeast Texas when much of the area was covered by a sea during the Cretaceous period, 145.5 to 65.5 million years ago.
“The displays and the fossil dig box work together to bring the past to life and make history real for our young visitors,” said Executive Director Sharline Freeman.
According to Freeman, the display panels feature information and drawings of prehistoric reptiles, fish and cephalopods, whose fossils have been found along the North Sulphur River, in and around the Ladonia Fossil Park, less than 20 miles from the museum.
Children, their teachers and parents can learn about Mosasuars, 40-foot-long aquatic reptiles that fed on fish, sharks, turtles and even other Mosasaurs. Another featured inhabitant of the deep sea is the predatory fish Xiphactinus, which grew up to 20 feet in length and used its speed and sharp teeth to hunt fish, birds and flying reptiles called pterosaurs.
The new fossil dig exhibit also includes information on the Columbian Mammoth, which roamed the plains of northeast Texas 420,000 to 11,700 years ago and whose fossils, including tusks and teeth, have been found along the North Sulphur River and at the Ladonia Fossil Park. The exhibit is interactive and contains questions teachers can ask students, tying together similarities between prehistoric and modern-day animals. There’s even information on what it takes to become a paleontologist for aspiring fossil hunters.
Funding for the exhibit was provided by Upper Trinity Regional Water District. Technical expertise was provided by the Lake Ralph Hall Project Team, the Perot Museum, and the Ladonia Chamber of Commerce.
“We appreciate the efforts of Upper Trinity Regional Water District for making this exhibit possible,” said Freeman. “This exhibit demonstrates that Upper Trinity is not just interested in building Lake Ralph Hall, but also in the communities around the lake. The entire region will certainly benefit from this new learning experience at the Northeast Texas Children’s Museum.”
In addition to the new Fossil Dig exhibit, the museum currently features hands-on, playful, creative learning experiences including exhibits on transportation, banking, building, healthcare, veterinary care, agriculture, and grocery stores. Ribbon-cutting attendees will include sponsor representatives and Commerce elected officials.
About the Northeast Texas Children’s Museum
Located in Commerce, the Northeast Texas Children’s Museum has served children since 2002, providing a creative and enriching learning experience through the museum’s many exhibits. Through the support of donors and sponsors, we continue to increase our programming, enhance our exhibit areas, and introduce new workshops and performers. The Northeast Texas Children’s Museum provides opportunities for a playful and creative learning experience. The Museum’s hands-on exhibits and planned activities serve to enhance and supplement classroom curriculum. More information at https://netxcm.com/.