A student using a magnifying glass.
Thursday, July 6, 2023

NC Science Teachers, if your students like dinosaurs and dirt, this project may be for you.

Jul 6, 2023

Calling all North Carolina 8th-grade science teachers. Would you like your students to do real science with real fossils of animals that lived alongside the dinosaurs? Sign up for Cretaceous Creatures, a new public science project run by the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences that offers middle school students across the state a chance to make their own fossil discoveries as they contribute to the field of paleontology.

Cretaceous Creatures participants will sort through 66-million-year-old sediment from the Hell Creek Formation in Montana where the Dueling Dinosaurs were found. Along the way, they will discover and identify microfossils (small bones, teeth, scales and shells) of ancient animals that no one has seen before (not even scientists).

Buried side by side during the Late Cretaceous in what is now Montana, the Dueling Dinosaurs are among the most complete skeletons ever discovered of the world’s most iconic dinosaurs — Triceratops and tyrannosaur — including what is thought to be the only 100 percent complete skeleton of a tyrannosaur known anywhere in the world. The Dueling Dinosaurs will be featured in a new, first-of-its-kind exhibit at the NC Museum of Natural Sciences, opening in early 2024.

Registration for Cretaceous Creatures is now open for the 2023-24 school year. Visit cretaceouscreatures.org for more information or to apply. Questions? Contact project coordinator Elizabeth Jones, elizabeth_jones@ncsu.edu. Eligible classrooms receive free lessons and materials, including a bag of fossil-filled sediment. Cretaceous Creatures is made possible through a generous donation from the Bank of America Charitable Foundation to The Friends of the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences as our Dueling Dinosaurs Worldwide Education Sponsor.

About the NC Museum of Natural Sciences
The North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences in downtown Raleigh (11 and 121 W. Jones St.) is an active research institution that engages visitors of every age and stage of learning in the wonders of science and the natural world. In addition to two downtown buildings showcasing seven floors of world-class exhibits, the Museum runs Prairie Ridge Ecostation, a 45-acre outdoor education and research facility in west Raleigh, as well as satellite facilities in Whiteville, Greenville and Grifton (Contentnea Creek). Our mission is to illuminate the natural world and inspire its conservation. Downtown Raleigh Hours: Tuesday–Sunday, 10 a.m.–5 p.m. General admission is free. For more information, visit www.naturalsciences.org.

About the North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources
The N.C. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources (DNCR) manages, promotes, and enhances the things that people love about North Carolina – its diverse arts and culture, rich history, and spectacular natural areas. Through its programs, the department enhances education, stimulates economic development, improves public health, expands accessibility, and strengthens community resiliency.

The department manages over 100 locations across the state, including 27 historic sites, seven history museums, two art museums, five science museums, four aquariums, 35 state parks, four recreation areas, dozens of state trails and natural areas, the N.C. Zoo, the N.C Symphony, the State Library, the State Archives, the N.C. Arts Council, the African American Heritage Commission, the American Indian Heritage Commission, the State Historic Preservation Office, the Office of State Archaeology, the Highway Historical Markers program, the N.C. Land and Water Fund, and the Natural Heritage Program. For more information, please visit www.ncdcr.gov.

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