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  1. Fossils

    What is a fossil? Fossils are the remains or traces of things that were once alive. They can be bones, teeth, tracks, or any sign of past plant or animal life, thousands to billions of years old. Fossils found worldwide help us understand the history of life on Earth. Research the history of life through the mini fossil record contained in this box! Spanish language activity book and object cards are available upon request. Learn More
  2. Fossil Lake

    Some of the best examples of life during the Tertiary Period come from one extraordinary site in southwestern Wyoming called Fossil Lake. Although Fossil Lake has a cold, snowy climate today, its fossils offer us an unusual snapshot of a community of organisms that lived in a tropical lake 50 million years ago. Touch fossil fishes, insects, and the earliest known bat fossil cast. Learn More
  3. Fossils From Rocks Near Chicago

    Unearth the life forms that lived in Chicago millions of years ago. Limestone forms the underlayer of the earth around Chicago, and contains an amazing array of fossils like corals, crinoids and trilobites, among others. Learn More
  4. Ice Age Mammals

    This box contains models of mammals (and their teeth!) that could be found in the Chicago region 12,000 years ago. Look at the animals' physical characteristics and infer their evolutionary advantages. Discuss some of the physical changes that happened as Amebelodons evolved into mammoths and modern elephants. Debate what caused these changes and identify relationships among these animals based on their teeth. Learn More
  5. Dinosaurs in the Cretaceous

    Become a paleontologist! Use the models from this Experience Box to ask the questions that paleontologists ask about dinosaurs and their fossil remains. Examine casts of dinosaur bones up close and learn more about how they lived. Learn More
  6. Interior of the Earth

    Dig underneath the Earth's surface to get a glimpse of the great stratification found there. Examine the surface and notice how much denser and more compact the inward layers become. Learn More
  7. Tyrannosaurus Rex Skull

    A full size fiberglass reproduction of a the Wankel Tyrannosaurus rex's skull. The complete Wankel Tyrannosaurus Rex is now on display in the Smithsonian Museum in Washington, D.C. This is not a replica of SUE. Permanently mounted on a rolling wood and steel platform (5 ft x 4.5 ft x 5 ft). Does not fit through most standard size doors. NOTE: $200 rental fee and additional transportation is the borrower's responsibility. Contact harris@fieldmuseum.org for more information. Learn More
  8. 300 Million Years Ago in Illinois

    The fossils from Mazon Creek, a Lagerst├Ątte near Chicago, continue to teach scientists much about the ecosystems of the Illinois area 300 million years ago. Examine the fossil evidence provided in this box to connect organisms in an ancient food web. Compare your food web with a modern ecosystem's food web. Were the trophic levels different hundreds of millions of years ago? Learn about the two biotas that existed during this time in Illinois: the Essex and the Braidwood. Then, based on the adaptations observed in the fossils, sort the fossils according to the biotas in which they probably lived. Learn More
  9. Coal Mine Model

    Dive into the difficult underground world of coal mining. Complete with tiny workers and machinery, this model exhibits the ways in which we locate and harvest this all-important fuel. Learn More
  10. Fossil Plants of Illinois

    These fossils are from Mazon Creek region in Northeastern Illinois. They are from the Pennsylvanian Period of over 300 million years ago. Marvel in the beauty of these plant shapes and forms, incredibly preserved in ironstone concretions. Learn More

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