Posted by: Kath Usitalo | February 7, 2011

Got Rocks? Found A Fossil? Adore Darwin?

Dad in moose antlers and lad study wildlife diorama at MSU Museum

As I poked around the Michigan State University Museum early Saturday morning I half expected to turn a corner and bump into a wild-haired professor in a corduroy jacket with patches on the elbows.

Somebody get Chuck a party hat

The MSU Museum, one of the oldest in the Midwest, is filled with animal specimens in life-size dioramas, casts of dinosaur skeletons, and collections of artifacts that explain different cultural aspects of society.

The ivy-covered, movie set-worthy building will have more than one scholar roaming its halls on Sunday, February 13 for Darwin Discovery Day, a celebration of the naturalist’s birthday and chance to rally some excitement for scientific endeavors.

Charles Darwin, best known for his observations about natural selection and biological evolution, was born on February 12, 1809 in Shrewsbury, England. He published his book On the Origin of Species in 1859.

Science and natural history museums are using the occasion of Darwin’s birthday to host special programs like MSU’s. A highlight of the bash is the museum’s annual Natural History Identification Day.

Got a rock you’re curious about?

Found a fossil, bone or tooth you can’t i.d.? Bring it to the MSU Museum that day and those in the know will help figure out the origin of that natural treasure.

This MSU allosaurus was cast from bones unearthed in central Utah

During Darwin Discovery Day you can also inspect the casts of dinosaur skeletons, tour the museum’s “Bug Room,” and see critters and meet MSU’s Critterguy Jim Harding.

Darwin specialist Rich Bellon will be on hand to answer questions about the man and his work.

There’ll even be cake in honor of the Birthday Boy.

Darwin Day festivities take place during regular museum hours, 1-5 p.m., Sunday. Admission is free.

Visitor Info Clicks:

MSU Museum

Lansing/East Lansing

Pure Michigan

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