Dino Zone and Everything Dinosaur Rocks

Yesterday, Saturday 9th of July was the Daresbury Laboratory Open Day, an opportunity for members of the public to visit Daresbury Laboratory (Cheshire) and to get to grips with all the wonderful science that goes on there.  Everything Dinosaur team members were asked to participate, firstly, we delivered workshops as part of the schools outreach programme working with Key Stage 2 and 3 pupils and then we were involved in the “Dino Zone”, part of the site dedicated to all things prehistoric.

The Fossil Digging Area All Ready for the Young Palaeontologists

Everything Dinosaur at Daresbury Laboratory.

Everything Dinosaur’s fossil digging area all ready for the Open Day!

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

We had prepared a sand pit and several trays, these were then filled with lots of fossils, sharks teeth, brachiopods, crinoid stems, ammonites, belemnite guards, fossilised wood, pieces of fossilised bone and such like so that young people could dig for fossils and take home what they had found.  There was even a tooth from a prehistoric horse and a Woolly Mammoth rib bone to find.  Scientists from various institutions joined us in the “Dino Zone” and despite the heavy rain we were inundated with visitors.

Digging for Fossils with Everything Dinosaur

Over the course of the day, Daresbury Laboratory had something like 7,500 visitors.  Although the event was supposed to close at 5pm, there was a half hour waiting time for the “Dino Zone” and our team members stayed on until 6pm to ensure that everyone who wanted to got the chance to look for fossils.

Digging for Fossils with Everything Dinosaur

Digging for fossils with Everything Dinosaur

Children digging for fossils with Everything Dinosaur

Picture Credit: Daresbury Laboratory Free Public Open Day Facebook Page

Our enthusiastic fossil experts were on hand to help identify the various finds, there was even a partial Mammoth femur (thigh bone) to explore.  We had brought a number of fossils from our collection to show visitors.  The Ichthyosaur vertebrae (especially the big ones), proved popular as did the various teeth fossils that we brought along.

Mum Rebecca wrote on the Daresbury Laboratory Facebook page:

“My little girl found a shark’s tooth whilst digging in the Dino Zone area on Saturday.   She keeps asking how old it is and I have no idea!  Can you help at all?  Thanks.”

A team member from Everything Dinosaur replied:

“Hi Rebecca, “Dinosaur Mike” here from Everything Dinosaur, I was one of the team members helping at our fossil dig on Saturday.  The shark tooth is probably from the Eocene Epoch and from one of our digs in southern England.  It would be between 45 and 55 million years old.  Hope this helps.”

All in all it was a super day, our thanks to the enthusiastic and dedicated team at Daresbury Laboratory and all the volunteers who helped.

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