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Special Exhibit: Stegodon and Cave Bear, Courtesy of Michael & Barbara Sincak from Treasures of the Earth

MAPS Fossil Expo March 30-April 1

March 12, 2012

MACOMB, IL - -The 34th National Fossil Exposition sponsored by the Mid America Paleontology Society (MAPS) returns to Western Illinois University-Macomb Friday-Sunday, March 30-April 1. This year's theme is the Pennsylvanian Period.

The expo, tagged the world's largest fossil-only show, will be held in Western Hall from 8 a.m.-5p.m. Friday- Saturday, March 30-31 and from 8 a.m.-12 p.m. Sunday, April 1. Admission and parking are free.

The annual Fossil Expo brings dealers, exhibitors and fossil enthusiasts from across the nation to view, sell and purchase fossils.

At 5:15 p.m. Friday, keynote speaker Scott Elrick will present, "Geologic Secrets of Illinois' Fossil Rain Forest." Elrick is an associate geologist for the coal and petroleum section of the Illinois State Geology Survey Prairie Research Institute.

Saturday's events will include the following presentations:

9:30 a.m.- "Earth Extinction Events Since the Pennsylvanian and What Lies Ahead," by astrophysicist and earth scientist John Moffitt;

10:45 a.m.- "Things to do with a Leftover Ground Sloth: Recipes for research and fun with Iowa's unique Ice Age discovery," by David Brenzel, co-principle investigator of the sloth project at the Indian Creek Nature Center;

12:45 a.m.- "Dinosaur Evidence," by Don Johnson, president and founder of the Eastern Iowa Paleontology Project, Inc; and

3:15 p.m.- "A Comparison of the Dixon 'Mudstone' fauna to the Lee Center Dolostone fauna," by American Paleontologist columnist John Catalani.

Two workshops will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday. University of Iowa's Physics Professor Charles Newsom's "Stump the Experts," will help visitors find people to correctly ID their fossil. Northeastern Professor of Earth Science Jack Wittry and Professor Emeritus of Earth Science Charles Shabica will explain "Mazon Creek ID."

A live auction will be held Saturday night at 5:15 p.m., and silent auctions will be held throughout Friday and Saturday. Proceeds will go towards the Paleontological Society Scholarship Fund. Workshops will also be held throughout the weekend.

School groups (K-12) are welcome to attend the MAPS Fossil Expo and tour Western's Geology Museum. For more information or to arrange a museum tour, contact Bob Johnson at or call (309) 298-1368. Contact WIU Parking Services at (309) 298-1921 for bus unloading and parking directions.

For more information about the MAPS Fossil Expo, contact Tom Williams, (815) 223-9638 or email or Steve Holley, (309) 231-8861 or email, or go to

Posted By: Sarah Tomkinson, University Relations
Phone: (309) 298-1993 * Fax: (309) 298-1606