National Fossil Day

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A mastodon tibia, National Fossil Day 2011

National Fossil Day was established in the United States to promote the scientific and educational values of fossils. It was first held on October 13, 2010, during Earth Science Week. The National Park Service and over 270 partners, including museums, institutions, organizations and other groups, joined together to educate the public about the value of fossils. Hundreds of activities were hosted across the United States aimed at improving public understanding of the world's fossil heritage.[1]

The second National Fossil Day 2011 was observed on October 12, 2011 with events at museums, parks, universities, and non-profit organizations.[2] National Fossil Day 2012 was celebrated on October 17, 2012 with an opening event held on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.. Similar events have been held annually.[3]

Each year a new educational National Fossil Day logo is created and announced in mid-January on the event website, depicting a prehistoric organism. The original National Fossil Day logo in 2010 and featured a fossil titanothere, a prehistoric mammal. In 2011, a marine reptile, the mosasaur, was used. For 2012, the mammoth was used for the annual logo. For 2013, a Paleozoic invertebrate known as the eurypterid was featured. For 2014 a fossil of an aetosaur, a Triassic reptile, was used.[4] For 2015, a large herbivore mammal known as a chalicothere was used.[5] For 2016, the prehistoric saber-toothed cat Smilodon fatalis was used.[6] For 2017, a jawless fish known as a heterostracan was used.[7] In 2018 a Quetzalcoatlus a flying reptile was used [8] and in 2019 a Shasta Ground Sloth, Nothrotheriops shastensis will be used [9]


  1. ^ "National Fossil Day 2010 Events Archive". United States National Park Service. July 22, 2011. Retrieved October 12, 2011.
  2. ^ "National Fossil Day 2016 Events". United States National Park Service. Oct 11, 2011. Retrieved October 12, 2011.
  3. ^ "National Fossil Day - Home". Retrieved 2015-10-15.
  4. ^ "Celebrate National Fossil Day, October 15!". Retrieved 16 November 2016.
  5. ^ "5th Annual National Fossil Day". Retrieved 16 November 2016.
  6. ^ "Fossil Discovery Center Plans Host of Activities for National Fossil Day". Retrieved 16 November 2016.
  7. ^ "Fossils of the 2017 National Fossil Day Artwork". Retrieved 11 October 2017.
  8. ^ "Logo and Artwork - National Fossil Day (U.S. National Park Service)".
  9. ^ "Fossils of the 2019 National Fossil Day Artwork (U.S. National Park Service)".

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