Iris Hunter Richmond County Daily Journal
September 5, 2013
On Saturday, Sept. 21, the Rankin Museum of American Heritage in Ellerbe will be having its 6th annual Fossil Fair.
“The importance of the Fossil Fair is that people get an understanding of how land masses and oceans have changed over millions of years,” said Gail Benson, museum curator.
“Also, see from evidence what plants and animals lived here 60 million years ago that are now extinct. There were Megalodon Sharks larger than a school bus. Sharks have three to four rows of teeth. When they lose a tooth another one replaces it. A shark can lose thousands of teeth during its lifetime. That is why we have so many sharks teeth in our dig-dirt from the Aurora Phosphate mine in North Carolina,” said Benson.
The event will take place from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and is free and open to the public.
Only students from preschool to 16 years of age can register for the event. There are four times that parents can register their kids, which are 9 a.m., 10 a.m., 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. The number of students that can register to participate in the fossil dig are limited to 100.
Last year the Fossil Fair was very successful and many people came out to participate.
“Over 200 people attended the Fossil Fair last year,” said Benson. “Every student found at least one sharks tooth and many bivalves and univalves (shells) that date back 60 million years ago,” she said.
The event will be featuring The North Carolina Fossil Club. The club will have exhibits set up inside and outside the museum with its fossil finds.
“Students finding sharks teeth 1/2 inch and larger can have the tooth wired and made into a necklace for $1,” said Benson. “Last year some students found 2 inch teeth.”
During the entire event, a film titled “Eyewitness Dinosaurs” will be showing in the conference room for the public's viewing.
The fossil dig is sponsored by The Carrier Dewitt Foundation.
The Rankin Museum was founded based on the lifetime collections of Dr. Pressley R. Rankin Jr. of Ellerbe.
The museum has three main areas of interest which include Natural History, American Heritage, and Native American culture spread throughout the large facility.
For more information or to register for the event, contact 910-652-6378.
— Staff Writer Iris Hunter can be reached at 910-997-3111, ext. 18, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.