ISU Headlines

IMNH opens new exhibit ‘Ant Farms, Clams, and Escargot…’

Posted November 3, 2008

As part of the next Idaho State University Gallery Walk, the Idaho Museum of Natural History will open its newest monthly exhibit on Nov. 3.

Titled, “Ant Farms, Clams, and Escargot: Life Along a 75 Million-Year-Old River Bank,” the exhibit will feature fossilized clams and a large prehistoric ant nest from the Cretaceous period found in southern Utah.

Leif Tapanila, Ph.D., ISU geosciences professor and IMNH Curator of Geology, along with colleagues at Southern Utah University and the Utah Museum of Natural History, are focusing on reconstructing the ecosystems that developed in this region.

Working with the Bureau of Land Management, IMNH is the primary repository for invertebrate collections from the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, which is where these fossils were collected. The Kaiparowits Formation in this area is receiving a lot of attention because it preserved abundant and diverse animals and plants from the Late Cretaceous Period, including dinosaurs, crocodiles, turtles, birds, early mammals, clams, snails, trees, and insect behavior.

The ISU Gallery Walks are held from 7 to 9 p.m. on the first Monday of each month and include exhibits in the Transition and Mind's Eye Galleries in the Pond Student Union Building, the John B. Davis Gallery in the Fine Arts Building, the Oboler Library, and IMNH.

The walks are free and open to the public and will continue on the first Monday of each month through April.

For more information, visit http://imnh.isu.edu or contact Teresa Nelson at (208) 282-2603 or nelstere@isu.edu.

The museum is located on the campus of Idaho State University at the intersection of Fifth Avenue and Dillon Street in Building #12. The gallery is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.