National Fossil Day:
An annual celebration highlighting the value of fossils, the National Fossil day is celebrated on the Wednesday of the second full week in the month of October.
Related: Other National Days Celebrated on October:
Why National Fossil Day?
As humans, we are constantly in search of our roots and paleontologists help us find the same through an examination of plant, animal, and insect life remnants. Preserved by nature itself as a fossil, these provide us clues to the earth’s history and hence are of high importance to mankind. These fossils which hold the key to the beginning of mankind are celebrated on the National Fossil Day, observed on the Wednesday of the second full week in October every year.
The Fossil Day emphasizes the educational value of fossils while promoting their scientific significance to our everyday lives.
How can we observe National Fossil Day?
Fossil Day is observed across the country of United States in schools, colleges, parks, online forums, and other institutions emphasizing the value of paleontology and fossils in specific.
On Fossil Day,
- Spend some time to research and learn more about fossils.
- You can also find the fossils in your nearest museum and learn about when, where, and how they were found and their significance.
- Learn more about how paleontologists work and take part in activities organized by the various museums. You can even learn to make an imprint fossil.
- There are many events conducted by the National Park Service with their partners across the country. You can be part of these events and contribute your ideas regarding the National Fossil Day on the forums.
- You can also sponsor an event of your own, which highlights the importance of fossils.
- You can review about the various fossils and share the ones that you like the most on your social media accounts with a tag of #NationalFossilDay.
- You can make projects on a specific fossil or a classification of fossils with your friends at your school or college.
- A contest is also held every year during this event where a theme is provided in spring based on which people from all age groups can submit artwork inspired by fossils. The rules of the contest and the entry forms are made available on the official website of the event. You can be part of this contest and display your creativity on fossils.
Interesting facts about National Fossil Day:
On the Fossil Day, let us know more about the day, the events, participants, and about fossils in general.
- The founder/the proposer of the Fossil Day Vincent L. Santucci is also referred to as the “Father of National Fossil Day”.
- The official logo of the Fossil Day features a prehistoric mammal, titanothere’s fossil imprint on it. The logo is used on many different items of promotion of the event and also on the official website of the event every year.
- An artwork depicting a prehistoric creature/organism is created in the middle of January every year. This can be viewed on the website of the Fossil Day event.
- While the major participant in the National Park Service, they join hands with more than 270 partners across the country to promote the day and conduct many events online and offline for all age groups in the 50 states.
Now let us learn some interesting facts about fossils on Fossil Day.
- Fossils are not made of bone but rather it is an engraving of the bone on the rock over a period of time.
- There are even fossils of the footprints of our ancestors.
- There are even fossils of nests, poop, and eggs of animals and birds.
- Unearthing the fossils requires a lot of care and a lot of time. The 40ft long elasmosaur found in the Antarctic was dug out completely in 2017 while the work actually started in 1989 itself.
- The name “fossil” is derived from the Latin word “fossus” which translates to “having dug up”.
- There have been fossils found on Mount Everest belonging to sea creatures.
- The largest of the dinosaur fossil found belongs to a titanosaur, which is approximately 98 million years old. The fossil was found in Argentina.
History of National Fossil Day:
The first time the Fossil Day was celebrated was in the year 2010 by the National Park Service in the United States on October 13th. It was held as a celebration to highlight the significance of fossils to our lives during the Earth Science week celebration in that year. The idea to celebrate the Fossil Day was proposed by Vincent L. Santucci, a leading paleontologist in the year 2009. This was later implemented the next year during the month of October. The observation of the National Fossil Day continues to happen from thereon every October on the Wednesday of the Second full week, across the 50 states of the US.