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Orthoceras & Nautiloid Front Desk


These ancient shelled cephalopods were distantly related to squid and octopi. Their tentacles poked out of the front of their shells and they swam backwards. The spiral shelled creatures fossilized in the front desk are nautiloids, while the "ice cream cone" shaped shelled creatures are orthoceras. The stone for the front desk was imported from [...]

Petrified Wood Bar in Paleo Joe’s


From the Greek root "petro," meaning "wood turned into stone," the petrified wood in the bar counter is comprised of a series of cross-sectioned stumps fused together by a man-made bonding agent. Petrified wood is formed when a tree trunk falls in an alkaline wet area like a river, and percolating water slowly replaces its [...]

Pteranodon sternbergi Weather Vane


Our smiling flying reptile would have lived 80 million years ago in the Cretaceous at the same time as the dinosaurs. One of the largest pterosaurs associated with the Western Interior Seaway, an adult Pteranodon Sternbergi had a wingspan between 3 and 6 meters (9.8–19.6 ft). This one of a kind, copper and gold leaf [...]

Short Faced Bear Femur


This massive bear lived in North America during the Pleistocene, as recently as 11,000 years ago. This leg bone was cast from an original at The Mammoth Site of Hot Springs, South Dakota. When this supersized bear walked on all fours, it was tall enough to look a man in the eye. While standing on [...]

Mastodon Tooth


In ancient Greek, Mastodon means, "breast tooth." Named by the famed French naturalist Georges Cuvier, who evidently thought the domed ridges of the teeth resembled human breasts. (They don't). This large elephant-like mammal roamed North America during the last Ice Age, living as late as 10,000 years ago. Its ridged molars were used for grinding [...]

Mammoth Hair


The frozen remains of Wooly Mammoths have been found in the Arctic Circle for centuries. Currently, geneticists are extracting DNA from mammoth remains, and hope to clone the species and bring it back from extinction. There is even talk of establishing a colony of mammoths in Siberia, and opening a Pleistocene Park. This specimen was [...]

Crinoid Panel


Similar to modern-day Sea Lillies, crinoids were not plants, but animals related to starfish. Its long stalk would anchor to the ocean floor, while its feathery filter feeding tentacles would eat plankton and other small debris. This sample cast represents crinoids from the Mississippian Period, typically found around Crawfordsville, Indiana. The shallow, warm sea that [...]