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Field Museum Pros Will ID Your Fossil Finds Next Month

By Gwendolyn Purdom in News on Aug 30, 2016 4:43PM

Field Museum (Photo by Joshua Mellin via the Chicagoist Featured Photos pool on Flickr)

The bone fragment you found in your backyard probably isn't 67 million years old like the Field Museum's most famous fossilized resident, but, hey, you never know. That's why zoologists, paleontologists, geologists and other experts will be on hand at the museum Sept. 17 to help visitors determine whether their amateur find really is an ancient dino egg or just a weird-colored clump of dirt.

The event will be the third ID Day the Field Museum has held, according to a press release delivered on Tuesday; and because the demand was so great last year, organizers have added additional pros to help the dozen that appeared last year. Any clean, dry bones, rocks, fossils, seashells, meteorites, feathers or photos of mammals, reptiles, fish, insects or birds are welcome so long as the item isn't alive or was recently. (The Museum doesn't want any animals or fleas getting loose on the premises.)

ID Day will coincide with one of the museum's free admission days for Illinois residents, so there's nothing keeping you from IDing that shell or feather you've been holding onto for years. Even if you come empty-handed, pros will have specimens to look at and touch during the event, and will be available to answer questions.