San Bernardino County includes parts of the Mojave desert where the best evidence of fossils exists in California. So it makes sense that the San Bernardino County Museum recently introduced its "Fossils Underfoot" exhibition at its Hall of Geological Wonders. Here one views fossils that were actually gathered in the county, some dating back some 500 million years.
Tusks of a mastodon are to be seen here as well as restorations of dinosaurs, the three toed horse and ancient fish. Many of the fossil exhibits here were excavated from the Barstow Fossil beds located at the Rainbow Basin Natural Park.
There is the "Life to Death to Discovery" exhibit which presents ice age fossils found locally. Included is a recreated mastodon excavation as well as replicas of extinct dinosaurs. California's only real dinosaur trackways are on exhibit as well as Miocene horses. Also on view the skull of a 1.5 million year old peccary recently found north of Barstow.
The "Fossils Underfoot" Exhibition included many special events and will continue till January 4, 2015.
There was much to see with the regular exhibitions. We marveled at the detail shown in the exhibits for both water birds of Southern California as well as land birds of the region. And the museum has been a leader in Odogy, the study of eggs and every bird on exhibit also includes its eggs.
We loved the Mammals Collection of John Belcher with each animal shown in its usual habitat. The collection includes all the major species of the west and Alaska including black, polar and grizzly bears, caribou, moose, mule deer as well as smaller animals like opossum, raccoon, porcupine and bob cat.
Another exhibition hall is entitled "Cross roads in History" and shows the development in transportation from buggy, stage coach, Calistoga wagon to early automobiles. Also here are exhibits of the first native people of California including those that inhabited valleys, mountains and desert. The pottery, weapons, basket weaving and clothing of these early people are shown in detail.
The San Bernardino County Museum is located at 2024 Orange Tree Lane in Redlands adjacent to the #10 Interstate. The Museum is open Tuesday thru Sunday, 9 a.m to 5 p.m. For more information call 909 307-2669, on the web at www.sbcountymuseum. org.
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