‘Fossil Freeway’ exhibit opens Feb. 4
GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Visitors can take a prehistoric road trip through the Florida Museum of Natural History’s newest exhibit, “Cruisin’ the Fossil Freeway with artist Ray Troll and paleontologist Kirk Johnson,” opening at 10 a.m. Feb. 4.
The exhibit features Triceratops and Albertosaurus skeletons, and 30 fossils complement 19 color prints and five large-scale murals created for the book “Cruisin’ the Fossil Freeway,” by Troll and Johnson. Visitors also will be able to observe museum scientists in a paleontology lab preparing fossils collected from the field.
“Most of us think ‘dinosaur’ when we think of fossils, and this exhibit does have dinosaurs,” said Darcie MacMahon, Florida Museum assistant director of exhibits. “But it also focuses on how fossils inform us about important topics including climate change and evolution.”
Other fossils include a giant ammonite, a dinosaur egg from China and a Diplomystus, an extinct fish that lived about 34 million to 56 million years ago.
Opening day activities from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. include the opportunity for visitors to speak with museum paleontologists, meet members of Florida fossil clubs and examine their collections, and take a guided exhibit tour at 10:30 a.m. or 1:30 p.m.
Visitors may also compare their foot with that of a duck-billed dinosaur or check out fossil- and dinosaur-themed materials from the Alachua County Library District bookmobile. Food will be available for purchase from David’s BBQ and the High Springs Orchard and Bakery. Exhibit admission is $5 for adults; $4.50 for Florida residents, seniors and college students; $4 for ages 3-17 and free for museum members.
The exhibit, on display through Sept. 3, is presented by the Toomey Foundation for the Natural Sciences Inc. and the Florida Museum Associates Board. It was organized by the Burke Museum at the University of Washington.