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4th-6th Graders Take Field Trip to Ashfall Fossil Beds State Historical Park

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On Tuesday, May 2, the Howells-Dodge Consolidated 4th, 5th, and 6th Grade classes, along with their teachers Mrs. Kelly Throener, Mrs. Brenda Hegemann, and Mrs. Jenny Schmidt traveled to Ashfall Fossil Beds State Historical Park near Royal, Nebraska for their annual field trip. It was a fascinating day that everyone enjoyed!

Mr. Rick Otto was our tour guide. He gave us a very interesting introduction to Ashfall Fossil Beds. We were able to see fossils of many different kinds of species that were found in Nebraska even before we visited the main attraction, The Rhino Barn. Some of the students' favorite exhibits in the visitor center included the fossils of the sabertooth deer, the barrel-bodied rhino calf, and the bone crushing dogs. The students also enjoyed looking at samples of volcanic ash under the microscope.

     The Rhino Barn was intriguing to all of us. It was an amazing sight! There were baby barrel-bodied rhino calf fossils found buried next to their mother’s in the volcanic ash. We also saw the fossils of horses buried under the rhinos, along with several other fossils. The students also got to pick up a “pinch” of volcanic ash. The small fragments in the ash “sparkled” on their fingers.

        The classes enjoyed a picnic lunch at the shelter located at Ashfall Historical Park before departing for home.