Third and fourth grade students at Stephens Elementary School had the opportunity to visit the Houston Museum of Natural Science (HMNS) recently. A $700 Target Field Trip Grant that Regina Balane, a third grade science teacher at the campus, received, made the visit possible.
The students toured the HMNS’s Morian Hall of Paleontology where they experienced a prehistoric safari viewing prehistoric beasts as well as the saga of human evolution. Students got to touch several specimens, including real, fossilized dinosaur skin. They toured a virtual, ancient aquarium where fossils came to life. And they viewed a nesting site for a Quetzalcoatlus family, which are ancient pterosaurs with 30-foot wingspans.
Other exhibits the students found interesting included “Happy Puppy,” a Coal-Age frog-oid; “Jurassic Mom,” a reptile with a shark body; “Cretaceous Taz,” the most powerful creature of river and lake; “Bullet-proof Alligator Gar,” the remains of the apex predator in sluggish rivers with double-layered armored scales; “King of the Sharks,” which exhibits the largest jaw ever assembled of the Megalodon shark; and “Slothzilla,” a giant ground sloth.
The more than 450 fossils and fossil replicas provided a vivid glimpse into the incredible 3.5-billion-year story of life on Earth.
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