On Friday October 1st, 2010. Third grade students at Spring Lake Elementary had an encounter with dinosaurs. After reading their Scholastic story about Mary Anning from England who discovered an Ichthyosaur near her home in Lyme Regis, students were able to meet two paleontologist who work in Utah. Charlie McClellan is a specialist with fish plates. He has prepared fossil bones and fish for several years at both the Brigham Young University Earth Science Museum and for Western Paleontological Labs. Charlie’s work is on display for sale at Knott's Berry Farm in California, Ruby's Inn at Bryce Canyon, the North American Museum of Ancient Life at Thanksgiving Point in Lehi, Utah, and various other locations in the U.S., Canada and Japan. Charlie brought some of his specimens to show the students. He had one fossil that the students got to touch and pass around which they thought was neat. Only at the end to find out it was coprolite. (Dinosaur poop) Students learned that the state dinosaur is not the Utah Raptor but in fact the Allosaurus as we have been able to find many more specimens in Utah. Karen Cloward also came and shared her vast knowledge about dinosaurs from the Jurassic time period with the students. Karen has been an active paleontologist for the past 18 years. She has co-authored several scientific papers and has named teo new species of dinosaurs and one new species of pterosaur. She was on the design team for the Museum of Ancient Life at Thanksgiving Point and the Director of Education and Exhibits. She is currently preparing dinosaurs for a traveling exhibit, and museums around the world. Students learned that the T-Rex was actually around 75 million years after the Jurassic time period so he did not eat the long neck dinosaurs or stegosaurus like you would think from movies and books.
They encouraged students to study hard, stay in school, and go to college. You have to take math classes and sciences to go into the field of paleontology. Usually a Bachelors in geology or biology and then a Masters or Doctorate in paleontology.
For more information about our paleontologist friends or to have them visit: