University News

World's Largest Fossil Show at WIU April 7-9

March 17, 2006

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MACOMB, IL – The world’s largest exclusive fossil exhibit, featuring specimens that range in size from insects to dinosaur bones, will take place Friday-Sunday, April 7-9 in Western Hall on the Western Illinois University campus in Macomb.

The 28th Annual National Fossil Exposition, sponsored by the Mid-America Paleontology Society (MAPS), is open free to the public from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Friday-Saturday (April 7-8) and from 8 a.m.-noon Sunday (April 9).

The theme for this yearÂ’s event is insects. Conrad Labandeira, curator of paleoentomology at the National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution, will deliver the keynote address at 7:30 p.m. Friday. LabandeiraÂ’s research interests include plant-insect associations in the fossil record and insect paleoecology and the evolution of terrestrial ecosystems. He earned his Ph.D. (1990) at the University of Chicago.

The expo, which draws fossil enthusiasts from across the nation as well as Canada and overseas, allows visitors to view, sell, or purchase fossils. A live fossil auction will be held at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, with silent auctions Friday afternoon and Saturday. All proceeds go to paleontology scholarships.

Visitors are also invited to tour WesternÂ’s Geology Museum, located in Tillman Hall, from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Admission is free.

More information about the expo can be found on the MAPS web site at

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