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March, 2008

The Life of a Vertebrate Fossil
Follow a fossil from discovery to museum display on this Smithsonian site.
Grade Level: K-2, 3-5, 6-8

This site from the Smithsonians Natural History Museum takes visitors on a multimedia adventure through each step that paleontologists take in locating vertebrate fossils and preparing them for display in the museum.
The site is designed in Macromedia Flash but is also available in an html version. Navigation is intuitive: just follow the next button at the bottom of the page or jump to another section by clicking on the Roman Numerals at the top of the page.

The Life of a Vertebrate Fossil is an interactive multimedia site where visitors of all ages will enjoy learning about vertebrate fossils and how they are discovered and prepared for display. The site uses video clips, interactive diagrams and high quality photographs to show visitors how paleontologists search for fossils, decide if they are worth the time, the tools that are needed to collect the fossils, how old the fossils are, how to dig it out of the sediment, prepare it to be moved, prepare the fossil for display in the museum, and how they unravel the story of the fossil. Along the way visitors are given the opportunity to plan their own fossil hunt.


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