To get ready for Early Life Weekend, I took a trip up to the Royal Ontario Museum’s palaeontology department and hung out with Dave Rudkin.
Dave Rudkin is the Assistant Curator of Invertebrate Palaeontology at the ROM and a truly great guy. Dave’s been busy preparing for the Gallery of Early Life, a permanent gallery opening in 2014, but he still found time to show me around the invertebrate palaeontology collections.
What I like most about Dave is that he always has time to support children’s programming, whether it’s to lend a few objects for a weekend, or just chat about palaeontology. His energy is infectious and he loves trilobites SO MUCH.
As all y’all know, I LOVE dinosaurs, and have spent a ton of time up in vertebrate palaeontology collection (of which you can see a few photos of here), but I’ve have had merely a glimpse of the workings of the invertebrate side.
This photo set features all sorts of animals from BEFORE the dinosaurs, the time when life first evolved on Earth. The ROM is a world leader in research on first life, specifically from the Burgess Shale site, so we have an absolutely PACKED collections room full of prehistoric treasures.
This weekend (May 4/5) at the Royal Ontario Museum is Early Life Weekend! We’ll be showcasing some severely underrated fossils from the time BEFORE dinosaurs, when life first evolved!
This is all in an effort to promote our next big permanent gallery, the Gallery of Early Life, which opens in 2014, in time for the ROM’s 100 year anniversary!
THE EARLY LIFE WEEKEND PROGRAM LINEUP!
- ROM palaeontologists Cédric Aria and Lorna O’Brien will be out this weekend to talk to you about palaeontology, their research and the Burgess Shale!
- We’ll have touch tables showcasing fossils from the incredible Burgess Shale.
- We’ll even have a sneak peek at a few fossils that will be installed in the Gallery of Early Life!
- We’ll have daily showings of Sir David Attenborough’s incredible documentary ‘First Life’!
- For all the families out there, we’ll also have some Burgess Shale inspired puppets for the kids to make, costumes, puzzles, murals and more.
- The Dino Lounge also makes a return for all those families with kids under 5!
- And let’s be real, you can’t do a palaeontology themed weekend and not talk about dinosaurs and the ice age. We’ve brought out some very special objects from the vaults to show off at our touch tables!
- All this and MORE this weekend!
- And remember folks, special activities run from 11 to 3!
- Meet Jean-Bernard Caron, Curator of Invertebrate Palaeontology at the ROM, mastermind behind our upcoming Gallery of Early Life, and a world leader in the field. Toronto’s Grid newspaper recently listed him as one Toronto’s 10 best young big thinkers!
- Learn more about the Burgess Shale HERE:
-ROM Burgess Shale Projects
-The Burgess Shale: Evolution’s Big Bang
-Re-examining the Burgess Shale
- And check out this great video on the Burgess Shale hosted by Jean-Bernard himself!
- Learn more about the upcoming Gallery of Early Life HERE.
- Though we’re running the documentary ‘First Life’ throughout the weekend, you may want to watch it in advance. It’s an incredible film, hosted by the LEGENDARY Sir David Attenborough, and features a guest appearance from Jean-Bernard! Check out THIS blog on the ROM’s research featured in the doc.
- Check out our Burgess Shale website, built with Parks Canada HERE. It’s a fabulous resource full of images, videos and all sorts of content!
See you this weekend!