Pop Up Paleontology - Virtual Event

A logo image for the virtual event. Light green background with stylized trilobite, crinoid, and Silvisaurus dinosaur images. In the center is the Pop Up Museum logo which features dark green and white colors with a variety of natural history items, such as fossil ferns, narwhals, and insects.

Welcome to Pop Up Paleontology! This donor-funded project introduces families to fossils and the diversity of life over geologic time through specimens and hands-on activities.

Virtual Paleo Pop-Up Mobile Museum
Visit our Virtual Paleo Pop-Up Mobile Museum to view 16 species displays, view illustrations, and try out our fun action labels to explore how ancient organisms lived! We also have an accessible (alternative text) PDF version of the virtual mobile museum page available.

Upcoming Virtual Events
Love fossils? Join us for a series of mobile museum virtual visits during the month of July with different library partners!

Learn about Kansas fossils with museum staff and try some fun fossil-themed, hands-on activities.  On each designated date, watch videos on the respective library’s Facebook page and join a free, live Zoom session all about invertebrate and trace fossils of Eastern Kansas!  The event runs from 10am - 12pm on each library's Facebook page. Before the fun begins, pick up a free Fossil Activity Kit from the library (dates below), so that you have everything you need for the live Zoom activity session. Limit 1 kit per household. This program is free, but preregistration is required for the Zoom session; registration links for each event are listed below.  Don’t miss out on all the fossil fun!

July 9, 2021 - in partnership with the Pittsburg Public Library
  - pick up a free Fossil Activity Kit from the library between June 24 - July 8
  - preregister for the live Zoom session on July 9th, 10:30am at tinyurl.com/popup-paleo-pittsburg
  - on July 9th, watch the videos on the Pittsburg Public Library Facebook page

July 10, 2021 - in partnership with the Council Grove Public Library
  - pick up a free Fossil Activity Kit from the library between June 25 - July 9
  - preregister for the live Zoom session on July 10th, 10:30am at tinyurl.com/popup-paleo-councilgrove
  - on July 10th, watch the videos on the Council Grove Public Library Facebook page

July 12, 2021 - in partnership with the Leavenworth Public Library
  - pick up a free Fossil Activity Kit from the library between June 27 - July 11
  - preregister for the live Zoom session on July 12th, 10:30am at tinyurl.com/popup-paleo-leavenworth
  - on July 12th, watch the videos on the Leavenworth Library's Youth Services Department Facebook page


Explore More Fossil Fun

Click on the two activities to view step-by-step instructions. You can also view the images below to see more body fossils, trace fossils, and casts.

This button takes you to the Invertebrate Fossil ID activity guide. It features an image of rugose corals, trilobites, and fusulinid foraminifera.            This button takes you to the Make Your Own Trace Fossil activity guide. It features flattened Model Magic with appendage impressions from a trilobite toy.                          

 

INVERTEBRATE FOSSILS

Upper row, left to right:
- Fusulinid foraminifera (single-celled protists); extinct fusulinids are among the most abundant fossils preserved in Carboniferous aged rock layers in eastern Kansas.
- Rugose (horn) coral; these extinct solitary corals lived on the seafloor throughout the Carboniferous and Permian periods and are commonly found in limestones of eastern Kansas.
Lower row, left to right:
- Uintacrinus socialis lived as a free-floating crinoid in the Western Interior Seaway during the Cretaceous period; fossils like this one are found in the chalk beds of western Kansas.
- A variety of invertebrate fossils commonly found in the Carboniferous and Permain aged rock layers of eastern Kansas.

Fusulinid foraminifera (single-celled protists); extinct fusulinids are among the most abundant fossils preserved in Carboniferous aged rock layers in eastern Kansas.  Rugose (horn) coral; these extinct solitary corals lived on the seafloor throughout the Carboniferous and Permian periods and are commonly found in limestones of eastern Kansas.  Uintacrinus socialis lived as a free-floating crinoid in the Western Interior Seaway during the Cretaceous period; fossils like this one are found in the chalk beds of western Kansas.  A variety of invertebrate fossils commonly found in the Carboniferous and Permain aged rock layers of eastern Kansas.

 

TRACE FOSSILS

Upper row, left to right:
- A footprint from an ancient bird preserved in Cretaceous sandstone of western Kansas.
- Burrows from an unknown invertebrate organism preserved in limestone from eastern Kansas.
Lower row:
- A slice of coprolite, or fossilized feces, from an herbivorous dinosaur; found in Jurassic age strata in Utah and was likely produced by a hadrosaur dinosaur.

A footprint from an ancient bird preserved in Cretaceous sandstone of western Kansas.  Burrows from an unknown invertebrate organism preserved in limestone from eastern Kansas.  A slice of coprolite, or fossilized feces, from an herbivorous dinosaur; found in Jurassic age strata in Utah and was likely produced by a hadrosaur dinosaur.

 

VERTEBRATE FOSSILS

Upper row, left to right:
- Mosasaur (aquatic reptile) material, including casts of Tylosaurus teeth, part of the tail vertebrae showing shark tooth bite impressions, and a real fossil tail vertebra found in western Kansas.
- Tylosaurus (mosasaur) skull on display in the KU Natural History Museum. Tylosaurus proriger is one of the official Kansas state fossils.
Lower row, left to right:
- Casts of Camarasaurus (sauropod dinosaur) teeth and a toe claw; these casts are based upon a skeleton collected by KUNHM paleontologists from late Jurassic age strata in Wyoming.
- Xiphactinus audax, the famous predatory bony fish, on display in the KU Natural History Museum; this fish lived in the Western Interior Seaway during the Cretaceous period.

Mosasaur (aquatic reptile) material, including casts of Tylosaurus teeth, part of the tail vertebrae showing shark tooth bite impressions, and a real fossil tail vertebra found in western Kansas.  Tylosaurus (mosasaur) skull on display in the KU Natural History Museum. Tylosaurus proriger is one of the official Kansas state fossils.  Casts of Camarasaurus (sauropod dinosaur) teeth and a toe claw; these casts are based upon a skeleton collected by KUNHM paleontologists from late Jurassic age strata in Wyoming.  Xiphactinus audax, the famous predatory bony fish, on display in the KU Natural History Museum; this fish lived in the Western Interior Seaway during the Cretaceous period.