Dig into new bones in Seymour

SEYMOUR, TX (KAUZ) - New bones, new technology, new facts are all on display now at the Whiteside Museum of Natural History.

"It's really is an exact representation of what it looked like 290 million years ago," Museum Director Chris Flis said.

There are new discoveries on display for the Grand Re-Opening on Jan. 27 from a time period before the dinosaurs.

"Dating back to the 1870s Seymour's been world famous in the scientific community for the very first, big, land waking reptiles and amphibians," Flis said, "and so this is the best places in the world to study rocks and fossils that are 290 million years old."

Christopher Fils and a team of paleontologist and volunteers continue to find new bones in the clay of Baylor County.

"That's why our museum is here to keep all the fossils which we dig and research here for the community which is very, very important for them," Flis said.

They closed the doors for a little while to update the exhibits with bones they found during the summer.

"We've been researching and prepping over the last six months and so this is all the material that folks have been seeing worked on for quite a while," Flis said.

First Alert Meteorologist Zach Holder was at a dig site during our Hometown Pride Tour, some of the bones he saw in the ground are now on display.

One of the bones found was a Diadectes rib. Diadectes was herbivore or plant eater during the Permian period.

"This is one of my most favorites this actually changes the way we think about Diadectes. For the longest time pictures of Diadectes skeleton show him with a barrel shaped rib cage," Flis said, "and this kind of changes everything because his ribcage actually sticks out to the sides."

The exhibits will be more interactive. Guests can carry tablets so they can quickly find out more about the fossils and kids will be able to take quizzes and play games. Even with all the new technology, the most hands-on part is still in the experience.

"For us we like the interaction of seeing what it looks like from the ground up," Flis said

The interaction takes guests behind the scenes. Everyone is invited into the lab.

"This is the largest prep lab in the U.S. that is public accessible," Flis said

Gil Allison is a Volunteer that helps find and clean the bones.

"Were uncovering pieces of Dimetrodon bone and it's a mystery what we're going to find," Allison said.

Dimetrodon is the predator Seymour is most known for. A reptile that Flis said is more closely related to mammals than dinosaurs.

"This is what to look for when you're in your backyard and so this is the exhibit, seeing it like this and seeing the progression from going like this to a mounted skeleton," Flis said.

Allison started volunteering to dig in the dirt three years ago.

"Well, it's a lifelong dream. Living in Vernon for 30 something years, I thought golly you know I am not in the right (location) and suddenly three years come and the museum is here," Allison said. "I come over here and I'm in it."

The Grand Re-Opening is Saturday, Jan. 27 from 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. Admission is free and there will be activities including a coloring contest for kids and free fossils to take home.

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