NORMAN — On Independence Day, the Sam Noble Museum will introduce the temporary photographic exhibit “Formed in Stone: The Natural Beauty of Fossils” featuring an array of geometric designs on fossils dating from 80 to 455 million years old. The museum will offer complimentary admission on Friday to celebrate the exhibit opening.
Formed in Stone includes digital photographs magnified up to 60 times to reveal the hidden surface of each fossilized microorganism. Accompanying the image gallery are 12 physical specimens, eight of which are from Oklahoma.
“The fossils have a natural beauty that can be appreciated by the public, regardless of their level of interest in the biology and evolution of extinct animals,” said Steve Westrop, invertebrate paleontology curator. “We hope that the images will spark curiosity, and that visitors will be inspired to learn more from the exhibit, the permanent exhibits at the museum and our website.”
The exhibit will be on display July 4 through Jan. 4, 2015. All of the fossils in this exhibit belong to the museum’s invertebrate paleontology collection, which contains around 1 million specimens from across the globe. The collection represents the combined efforts of paleontologists from the Oklahoma Geological Survey and the University of Oklahoma School of Geology and Geophysics.
“The Common Fossils of Oklahoma website developed by invertebrate paleontology and paleobotany collections is by far the most visited of all of the scientific websites hosted by the museum,” Westrop said. “There is a considerable public interest in paleontology, and not just dinosaurs.”
Formed in Stone also will be on display during Science in Action & Object ID, an annual free, family-friendly, science-packed day featuring demonstrations, hands-on activities and the opportunity to bring personal items to the museum, including fossils, for inspection and identification by specialized scientists. This year’s event will be held Sept. 28.
Additionally, as part of the Blue Star Museum Alliance, the museum is offering complimentary admission to active duty military and their families through Labor Day.