Museum opens new 'Living Fossils' exhibit
Jenna Stephens gets a little help from USU/CEU Prehistoric Museum Education Director Lloyd Logan at Friday's ribbon cutting for the 'Living Fossils' exhibit. Jenna got the honor of wielding the Chamber of Commerce's scissors - which are about as tall as she is - in a drawing of names. Logan designed and built the three cases of the exhibit with help from Ralph Escamilla of the Utah Friends of Paleontology.
Living fossils are plants and animals whose basic structure has remained unchanged over many millions of years. Visible under the heat lamp in the exhibit is an American Alligator, whose ancestors coexisted with the long-extinct dinosaurs. Also on display are a soft-shelled turtle - who shares a pond with the 'gator - and two monitor lizards who each have a room of their own.
The exhibit is part of the museum's effort to increase visitor involvement and interest in the displays. Museum Director Ken Carpenter, who is standing beside Logan, has said that other plans call for remounting the dinosaurs in the sand pit to show more life-like, interacting poses, and relocating the Utahraptor to the main entrance so it will be the first thing visitors see.
The long-range plan is to relocate the museum to a new building on the west side of Price.
After the brief ribbon-cutting ceremony, parents and kids found they had arrived just in time for Friday's feeding time. On the menu were mice, served very rare.