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web site from McClung Museum- Geology & Fossils of Tenness

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  • Susan English
    Re: posts describing bones in Tennessee cave/sinkhole. While there is a bit of a lull here, may dig around the internet a bit more. Read full article below,
    Message 1 of 1 , Feb 4, 2007
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      Re: posts describing bones in Tennessee cave/sinkhole. While there is
      a bit of a lull here, may dig around the internet a bit more.

      Read full article below, but thought this statement from the museum
      intriguing in lieu of what Jamie's contacts (and maybe Larry and
      others) described on their property: ..." The only dinosaur bones to
      be found in Tennessee, from the plant-eating, duck-billed
      Edmontosaurus, will be exhibited."


      On August 30,2002 the McClung Museum opened a new permanent
      exhibition on geology and fossils of Tennessee. "With the
      installation of the exhibit Archaeology and the Native Peoples of
      Tennessee, we raised the bar on ourselves", said Museum Director, Dr.
      Jefferson Chapman; "the new geology exhibit had to be of the same
      quality, and I think visitors will agree that we succeeded."

      One is drawn into the exhibit gallery with the sight of the skeleton
      cast of an 18 foot Mosasaur - a giant, sharp-toothed lizard that
      lived in the seas covering much of Tennessee 70 million years ago -
      that swims down from the ceiling.

      The first section of the exhibit addresses geologic processes and the
      geology of Tennessee. Crystals - the building blocks of rocks - and
      the Rock Cycle will provide the viewer with basic information on how
      rocks are formed. Visitors can enjoy a large map, representing 750
      million years of rock formations, along with examples of the rock

      Three videos are included in this section. Earth Bulletin, a high
      definition video linked via the Internet to the American Museum of
      Natural history, explains plate tectonics and the ozone layer. Each
      week the video is updated with information on the largest
      earthquakes, largest volcanoes, and major climate related events of
      the world. Another presentation features earth scientists doing
      research; this feature will be changed every six months. These are
      shown on a 61-inch plasma screen.

      Everyone loves dinosaurs and they will be included as well. The only
      dinosaur bones to be found in Tennessee, from the plant-eating, duck-
      billed Edmontosaurus, will be exhibited. There will also be a full-
      size skull cast of an Edmontosaurus along with a real fossil egg
      cluster and a real leg bone that can be touched and which visitors
      can compare their own leg bones to - how do you measure up to a
      dinosaur?. Representing the carnivorous dinosaurs will be a skull
      cast of an Albertosaur (Albertosaurs have been found in Alabama) and
      two real fossil eggs.

      On another screen are two short videos. One illustrates the movement
      of the earth's continents over the past 750 million years as we see
      how the arrangements of continents and oceans came to be. The other
      is a wonderful animated presentation by Richard Green on how plants
      and animals become fossils.

      The remainder of the gallery traces the story of the past 540 million
      years of life in what is Tennessee. The displays are divided into
      eight geologic periods from the Cambrian (540-495 million years ago)
      to the Pleistocene (or Ice Age) Epoch (1.8 million-10,000 years ago).
      Fossils, many of them finely detailed and distinctive to each of time
      periods, are displayed.

      To help visitors visualize what ancient Tennessee really looked like;
      the Museum commissioned six life-sized, color dioramas by
      internationally renowned exhibit firm, Chase Studios. Since much of
      the time Tennessee was covered by the sea, five of the six dioramas
      show sea life - bottom-crawling trilobites (think pill bugs of the
      sea), feathery crinoids, colorful corals and sponges, swimming
      tentacled cephalopods (think squids with shells), snails and many
      others. The one terrestrial diorama recreates a lush forest of the
      Late Carboniferous Period (323-290 million years ago) complete with
      giant dragon flies and cockroaches; these plants are the origin of
      Tennessee's coal.

      Of great interest to Tennesseeans will be the display of fossils from
      the Gray Fossil Site. This fabulous paleontological site, recently
      discovered in Washington County during road construction, apparently
      represents an ancient pond/sink hole in which many animals became
      trapped and their skeletons preserved. Animal remains include
      rhinoceros, an early elephant called a gomphothere, tapir, peccary,
      and alligator. A color mural by Rob Wood of the nationally know firm
      Wood, Ronsaville, Harlin, Inc. will show the site as it looked 5
      million years ago.

      Geology and the Fossil History of Tennessee
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