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National Fossil Day festivities continue Saturday at the Trails Center

National Historic Trails Interpretive Center will offer a series of interpretive programs at...
National Historic Trails Interpretive Center will offer a series of interpretive programs at the Independence Rock State Historic Site throughout September and the first two weekends of October.(BLM)
Published: Oct. 8, 2021 at 12:37 AM CDT
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CASPER, Wyo. (Release) - Visit the National Historic Trails Interpretive Center this Saturday to learn about one of Wyoming’s original trail-makers, pterosaurs.

At 1 p.m., the Tate Geological Museum’s JP Cavigelli will present “Walking in the rain with the local pterosaurs.” Discover the allure of pterosaurs and how recent evidence led researchers to determine the true maker of ancient marks found near Casper.

Pterosaurs were the premier flying reptile in the age of dinosaurs. Although rare, their fossilized bones have been found all over world, and their footprints can be found here in central Wyoming. Until recently, marks discovered at a site west of Casper were thought to be made by a prehistoric crocodile swimming along a sandy lake or beach. However, clues such as raindrops found alongside the tracks show that these footprints were not made by swimming animals, but by the pterosaur.

Cavigelli has been the preparation lab manager, field trip organizer, and collections manager at the Casper College Tate Geological Museum since 2004. Additional to leading field outings, he has overseen the preparation of many vertebrate fossils at the museum; from micro-mammal teeth to a mammoth and a Tyrannosaurus rex. Cavigelli also does freelance fossil preparation and has been invited along on expeditions to Mongolia, Niger, Tanzania, Alaska, and North Dakota.

For more information, please contact the Trails Center at 207-261-7700.

The National Historic Trails Interpretive Center is open 7 days a week from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm MST. 1501 N Poplar St., Casper, WY 82601 Admission is Free

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