Flat Stanley Visits a Principles of Paleontology Class

UC Museum of Paleontology: Principles of Paleontology Class

I come from Ms. Krogh’s 2–3rd grade class at Havens Elementary School, and I had QUITE a day with Jann Vendetti, a graduate student in the University of California Museum of Paleontology! I toured the UCMP’s teaching collections and experienced what a “Principles of Paleontology” lab is like. First, I interacted with students in a laboratory called, “Theoretical Morphology.” This topic is about how paleontologists measure and understand size and shape of animals and plants through geologic time (millions of years). I visited lab stations of snails to understand their aperture shape, and then went to a station with bivalves to learn about their sculpture patterns – in this case, “commarginal” sculpture.
Next I took a tour of some other specimens. I saw a prehistoric animal called an ammonite, flattened by pressure from rocks. The ammonite was not quite as flat as I am!
Then I saw some fossil snails – some scientists study variation in snails like these.
I also got to see some prehistoric arthropods called trilobites, as well as some more bivalves. It was fun learning about fossil invertebrates at the UCMP!