Museum Musings

Family Fun at Fernbank Museum

Make the most of the dog days of summer with a variety of hands-on, minds-on activities at Fernbank. Here’s this weekend’s lineup of programs:

Saturday, August 29

Tadpole Tales
11:30am, Naturalist Center
Preschoolers will enjoy a story and a special activity, led by a Fernbank educator. This month’s story A Log’s Life by Wendy Pfeffer.

Excellent Experiments
1pm, Naturalist Center
Explore the amazing world of chemistry through fun experiments in a live presentation.

Live Animal Encounter
3pm, Naturalist Center
Get up close and personal with a member of Fernbank’s live animal collection.

Sunday, August 30

Tadpole Tales
1:30pm, Naturalist Center
Preschoolers will enjoy a story and a special activity, led by a Fernbank educator. This month’s story is A Log’s Life by Wendy Pfeffer.

Live Animal Encounter
3pm, Naturalist Center
Get up close and personal with a member of Fernbank’s live animal collection.

Looking for a more outdoorsy family adventure? Fernbank Forest Geology Tour, Sunday, August 30 from 10am – noon. Learn more about forest geology with a Museum scientist during this guided tour. Suitable for ages 8 and up. Advance reservations required.

All activities are included with Museum admission and are free for members. Subject is subject to change, so check the “Today at Fernbank” sign in the lobby when you arrive. 

We'll see you this weekend! 

—Deanna Smith, Director of Marketing 

Written by Fernbank Museum at 16:02

Hip, Hip, Hooray for Fernbank’s Giant Dinosaurs

August 25, 2015 marks the 14th anniversary of the grand opening of Giants of the Mesozoic. Inspired not only by presenting history, but also with making history, from January 2000 through August 2001, Fernbank Museum pieced together—drawing by drawing, then bone by bone—this permanent exhibition featuring the world’s largest dinosaurs. 

Take a look back at the planning, building and unveiling of this ground-breaking exhibition.

Fast Facts about Giants of the Mesozoic:

  • Construction on Argentinosaurus was briefly halted on March 1, 2001 for President George W. Bush to hold a tax-plan rally at Museum.
  • Fernbank Museum was the first museum in the world to erect a fully-mounted skeleton of Argentinosaurus.
  • During the dedication of Giants of the Mesozoic, a time capsule was placed in the rockwork base beneath Argentinosaurus. It contains items related to the exhibition, including early conceptual, a copy of the WSB-TV documentary Land of the Giants and a collection of media coverage documenting the worldwide attention Fernbank received as a result of the exhibition.
  • The first Dinosaur Birthday Bash, offered in celebration of the one-year anniversary of Giants of the Mesozoic, was held August 24-25, 2002. The event has been offered every year in August since then and has become one of the Museum’s most popular family activity days. 
  • Professor Rodolfo Coria, the paleontologist who excavated and researched Argentinosaurus (and Giganotosaurus) had not seen a fully-mounted skeleton until the construction at Fernbank was completed. When asked how it felt to see the completed project, he responded “Like seeing an old friend, whose face you haven’t seen in a long, long time.

Do you have a Giants of the Mesozoic memory or photo to share? Send it to or post on our Facebook page.

—Deanna Smith, Director of Marketing 

Written by Fernbank Museum at 10:00

Celebrating All-Star Teachers

In honor of Teacher Appreciation Week, Fernbank Museum would like to take this opportunity to recognize the outstanding teachers we had the privilege of working with this year.Thank youfor all the hard work you do and for making Fernbank Museum a part of your curriculum! Becky -web

As a teacher, you play a key role in the achievements and success of each student who steps through your door. Teachers are required to be knowledgeable, enthusiastic, patient and caring. (Although sometimes one quality more than the others!) Finding these attributes wrapped into one individual is a rare gem.

It’s a pleasure to see students immersed in a special exhibit at the museum. It’s great to hear them gasp at something during an IMAX® film. Though the nicest part is watching a great teacher engage the students—connecting the content to what they’re studying in class, asking questions, and furthering the students’ curiosities and interests. You are such an integral part of these children’s lives, and we want to thank you for the incredible work you do.

We hope to see you again in the 2015-2016 school year.

—Becky Facer, Education Program Manager—Environmental Programs

You might also like: Fernbank Field Trips, Educator Corner


Written by Fernbank Museum at 09:24

Dinosaur Q&A

While I’m a fan of the idea of Chris Pratt leading a gang of Velociraptors, nothing compares to the original Jurassic Park. And, nothing compares to watching this most iconic of dinosaur films with an actual paleontologist! 

Author and paleontologist Dr. Anthony Martin of Emory University will lead the special presentation Science on Screen: Jurassic Park at Fernbank Museum, Sunday, March 22.* Before Dr. Martin delves into the science behind the film (can we talk about thatTriceratops poop??), I had a few questions for him.Tony Martin Blog

What is your favorite part of being a paleontologist?
My favorite part of being a paleontologist is going outside and searching for fossils, especially with other paleontologists. I’m really happy whenever I get the chance to do this.

Why are my arms so short?
Blame your ancestors and evolution for that. Your great-great-great-great grandparents probably didn’t need big arms to survive a typical day during the Mesozoic Era, so your arms reflect that history, which is perfectly, normal. Besides, long arms are overrated.

What is your favorite dinosaur?
Oh, that’s easy: Oryctodromeus cubicularis. This was a small ornithopod dinosaur from Montana that lived during the Cretaceous Period, about 95 million years ago. One reason why it’s my favorite dinosaur is because it’s the only known burrowing dinosaur, fossilized in its den with two younger dinosaurs of the same species. Even better, I was lucky enough to co-name it! Its name literally means “digging runner of the den.”

Have you ever met Jeff Goldblum?
No, I haven’t. But you know what’s really sad for him? He hasn’t met me yet, either. Hopefully it will happen someday: after all, life finds a way.

Do you have any snacks?
What did you have in mind: Chihuahuas or Great Danes? Wait a minute: why are you looking at me like that?

Black and blue or gold and white?
I like dresses of all colors, regardless of how people perceive them.

Do you think feathers would look good on me?
Oh, for sure. I’m thinking iridescent black for most of your body, with some yellow and red feathers on your arms, and hot pink on the top of your head. With an ensemble like that, think of how you’d rock the Buckhead night life!

When can we go to Jurassic Park?
I’m sorry to report that ‘Jurassic Park’ closed about 145 million years ago. Fortunately, though, we can still see the living descendants of dinosaurs today as birds. Which is pretty cool, because that means you can watch the relatives of ‘Jurassic Park’ in your backyard every day.

You can find Dr. Martin on Twitter at @Ichnologist. And you can find me on Twitter at@giga_a_dino and on Facebook

—Giggy A. Dinosaur

*Admission to Science on Screen: Jurassic Park is free, but space is limited and. reservations are required. 

Written by Fernbank Museum at 11:45

A DINO-Mite Celebration

They may be over 90 million years old, but age hasn’t diminished the need to host a birthday party for the dinosaur stars of Fernbank Museum’s permanent exhibition Giants of the Mesozoic. The world’s largest dinosaurs will celebrate their seventh anniversary at Fernbank with the popular Dinosaur Birthday Bash on Saturday, August 23, 2008 from 10am to 2pm.

Giggy Therm

This prehistoric party will feature a mock dino dig, appearances by Giggy A. Dinosaur, big bubble fun, free treats* from Whole Foods Market Briarcliff, a kids' DJ and more.

Can’t wait until it’s party time? Here’s a fun craft you can make at home, a Giggy Thaumatrope!

We’ll see you Saturday!

—Deanna Smith, Director of Marketing

*Treats are available while supplies last and are limited to 1 per person.


Written by Fernbank Museum at 09:57
Welcome to the official blog of Fernbank Museum of Natural History. This blog is an opportunity for the people that keep Fernbank running and constantly expanding, to share stories from their point of view. We hope you’ll enjoy these first-hand, behind-the-scenes glimpses of what goes into keeping a world-class natural history museum running. As always, we’d love to hear your feedback on these stories, to hear your personal experiences and hear any suggestions for topics. Happy reading!