Fossil Day at the Jurica Suchy Nature Museum Brings the Bones

Nature Museum

The Jurica-Suchy Nature Museum is located on the second floor of Birck Hall. (Photo Credit: Benedictine University)

Dominic Fucile

News Writer

National Fossil Day took place Wednesday, October 13, and the Jurica-Suchy Nature Museum had a special exhibit for members of the Benedictine community to interact with. Dozens of small fossils, safe for handling, were laid out for students to closely examine.

Various corals, leaf and seaweed imprints in rock, ammonites, fish, and even a chunk of petrified wood were displayed in order of their age in the fossil record.

The fossil display was kindly provided by Dr. Philip Novack-Gottshall, professor of biology in the department of biological science. Many of the specimens Dr. Novack-Gottshall brought are used in his paleobiology course.

Dr. Novack-Gottshall said that National Fossil Day event at Jurica-Suchy has been going on for a few years. There was no event last year due to Covid.

“National Fossil Day started being a more celebrated thing in the past decade. It’s a new event which is a day in October to celebrate the fossil record. And a lot of museums do stuff for it. There’s a museum in New York that does a whole weeklong celebration.”

The Smithsonian Museum of Natural History for example regularly holds events for fossil day, as does the National Parks service.

This event marks the first time the Jurica Suchy museum has been able to host an in-person event since the start of the Pandemic, according to museum collections manager Colleen Filipeck.

“Most of our events are still virtual. We still have our weekly virtual lecture series. It’s called the science speaker series.”

Ms. Filipek said that she was unsure of when further in person events would take place, and what form they would take.

The Jurica Suchy Nature Museum is located on the second floor of the Birck Hall of Science and is open from 11 AM to 1 PM on Mondays and Wednesdays.