web site from McClung Museum- Geology & Fossils of Tenness
- 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."
GEOLOGY AND THE FOSSIL HISTORY OF TENNESSEE, A NEW PERMANENT
EXHIBITION AT THE McCLUNG MUSEUM
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
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