UCMP's Cal Day 2006 open house

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[NOTE: More UCMP Cal Day photos, as well as enlargements of the photos in this article, can be viewed here.]

Who survived the Cretaceous-Tertiary extinction and who didn't? That was the big question addressed by UCMP at its annual open house held in conjunction with Cal Day, Saturday, April 22. In UCMP's "fishbowl," visitors got to see representative fossils from a wide variety of organisms that were affected by the event that took out about 60% of living species 65 million years ago. From forams to ferns, cephalopods to ceratopsians, few groups of life forms escaped the effects of the extinction event — some disappeared, some squeaked by, but with drastically reduced diversity, and some even prospered. The displays representing these changes saw a steady stream of visitors all day long.
Before entering the "fishbowl," visitors couldn't help but stop to watch as UCMP preparator Jane Mason and her crew of volunteers slowly extricated a Tyrannosaurus rex femur

Volunteers prepare the femur
A crowd gathers to see a Tyrannosaurus rex femur emerge from its plaster jacket. The Prep Lab volunteers are (from left) Leah Silverman, Anneke Janzen, and Kathy Zoehfeld. (photo by Jane Mason)


Staffing the plants table
Stephanie Stuart(left) and volunteers Christopher Suk-Young Cho and Bianca Knoll (behind the ferns) staff the Plants table. (photo by Jane Mason)

from its plaster jacket. Upstairs, the always popular "Fun With Fossils" activity drew plenty of would-be paleontologists, eager to find cool microfossils in matrix samples collected in Montana. And down in the Wallace Atrium, practically in the shadow of the big T. rex skeleton, UCMP outreach staffers sold museum tee shirts and distributed free tickets for the once-a-year tours of the museum's research collections, normally off-limits to the public.
Cal Day is always a a big draw and the 2006 edition was no exception. Being a mostly sunny day, the crowds were out in force. Next year's event is set for April 21 so mark your calendars!
The success of any Cal Day at UCMP is determined by the people who take part in it, from the planning stage to the cleanup after the event. A big "thank you" goes out to all the museum staff and faculty who contributed to the 2006 open house. We'd also like to thank some of our volunteers by name: Sarah

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