University News

National Fossil Expo April 4-6 at WIU

March 28, 2008

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MACOMB, IL - - The National Fossil Expo XXX comes to Western Hall on the campus of Western Illinois University Friday, April 4 through Sunday, April 6. Hours for the free public exhibition are from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Friday and Saturday, April 4-5 and from 8 a.m.-noon Sunday, April 6.

Billed as the world's largest show that exhibits fossils exclusively, the MAPS National Fossil Expo is presented by the Mid America Paleontology Society (MAPS). Fossil enthusiasts from across the nation, as well as Canada and overseas, come 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.

Friday night's featured speakers are David Brenzel, Holmes Semken Jr. and Sarah Horgen from the University of Iowa who will discuss their research, "Excavating Ice Age Giant Ground Sloth Remains: A Volunteer Effort in Southwestern Iowa."

In addition, Western Illinois' geology department, located in Tillman Hall, will hold an open house from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Friday, April 4 and Saturday, April 5; and there will be free tours of Western's Geology Museum, also in Tillman Hall. The museum lets visitors get a close-up look at life-like casts of the teeth and skull of the meat-eating dinosaur Tyrannosaurus rex and other prehistoric animals; view a colorful mural depicting Earth history; find out how the continents move and how mountains are formed; learn about fossils, minerals and rocks and much more, in displays that use strong graphics and bright colors to make the subjects interesting and fun, according to curator Bob Johnson.

School groups (K-12) are welcome to attend the MAPS National Fossil Expo, Western's geology department open house and tour the Geology Museum. For more information or to arrange a museum tour, contact Bob Johnson at or call 309/298-1368. Contact WIU Parking Services at 309/298-1921 for bus unloading and parking directions.

More information about the MAPS Fossil Expo is available at

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