Museum of the Earth: Fossilized Finger Lakes

June 5, 2015 at 10:38 pm Leave a comment

Located between Trumansburg and Ithaca

The museum is located between Trumansburg and Ithaca

Museum of the Earth, fossil wall

If you grew up in the Finger Lakes area, you have probably seen fossils  in cliff walls or on the bottom of a lake. The Finger Lakes area was once part of a much larger warm shallow sea. Visiting this area for the first time? Get your hands on some wonderful fossils at the Museum of the Earth, just outside of Ithaca, NY.

The museum has over 3 million fossils, making it one of the largest collections in the U.S.

There is a long mural (544 separate paintings), that stretches along a walkway between the main floor and the displays below. Each painting equals one million years with life-size fossils, displayed in order, representing 550 million years. The reign of man does not even make a single panel. ULP!

Screen Shot 2015-03-30 at 8.22.07 PMI discovered something new on my visit:  We have lovely round rocks on Skaneatleles Lake that can be found in cliff walls with sedimentary layers. Some of them have geodes inside, if split open.

Growing up, we thought they must be fossilized dinosaur eggs. Turns out they are more like pearls – concretions formed around pieces of crystalized calcite (sand). (See photo above)

The Paleontological Research Institution & Museum of the Earth

1259 Trumansburg Road
Ithaca, NY 14850

Ph: (607) 273-6623

Hours:
Summer (Memorial Day – Labor Day):
Mon – Sat: 10am – 5pm; Sun: 11am – 5pm
Winter (Labor Day – Memorial Day):
Same as Summer, EXCEPT closed Tues & Wed

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Entry filed under: Cayuga Lake, Fossil Hunting, Ithaca, Museums. Tags: .

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