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Paleopalooza Goes Virtual, October 17–25

Explore the world of dinosaurs and other ancient creatures 

PHILADELPHIA, September 28, 2020

Plug in to the world of dinosaurs and other ancient creatures with a weeklong virtual Paleopalooza festival Saturday, Oct. 17 through Sunday, Oct. 25 presented by the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University.


The action takes place on Zoom, Facebook and the Academy’s website,, where participants will learn about dinosaur discoveries, invertebrates encased in amber, modern cousins of ice age animals, and the stories behind fossils from around the world that are part of the Academy’s famous collection. Videos and dinosaur activities to do at home will be posted, and Academy paleontologists will host conversations for kids to ask them questions.


For those who wish to also experience the Academy’s Dinosaur Hall in person and pick up a self-guided activity, the museum is open Fridays through Sundays, 11 a.m.–5 p.m. (10–11 a.m. for members only). Timed tickets required and available at


The following digital activities are free and one is pay-what-you-wish. Zoom programs require free registration and may be limited in the number of attendees. 


Ask the Scientists: Ancient “-Ologies.” Co-hosted with the Penn Museum 

Saturday, Oct. 17, 1 p.m. 

Zoom, Free with registration

What’s the difference between a paleontologist and an archaeologist? Meet scientists from the Academy of Natural Sciences and the Penn Museum and “dig up” why two scientific studies with similar techniques may be totally different. Ask the Scientists is a fun, interactive program where kids lead the conversation. Featuring Ted Daeschler, PhD, an Academy vertebrate paleontologist, and Megan Kassabaum, PhD, a Penn Museum archaeologist. To register, visit


The Daily Bone 

Monday–Sunday, Oct. 19–25, 1 p.m. 

Facebook Live 

Learn about rare fossils and the scientists who study them at this daily interactive event. A different fossil will be featured each day. 


The Daily Bone Special Edition: Sloth Family Reunion 

Thursday, Oct. 22, 1 p.m. 

Facebook Live  

Lulu, the Academy’s visiting live sloth, joins her keeper on a tour of the Academy’s Vertebrate Paleontology Collection to see specimens of the extinct ground sloth, including claws, bones and very old sloth poop. See how these ancient beasts compare to modern animals and learn more about evolution and biodiversity.


Ask the Scientists: Paleo AMA 

Wednesday, Oct. 21, 3 p.m. 

Zoom, Free with registration  

Talk with Academy paleontologists and find out what they’re studying. Get an up-close look at Academy specimens and show off your own fossil to the participants. Ask the Scientists is a fun, interactive program where kids lead the conversation. To register, visit


A Shaker of Science 

Thursday, Oct. 22, 5:30 p.m. 

Zoom, Pay-What-You-Wish with registration  

Join a virtual live happy hour and unwind with Academy invertebrate paleontologists as they share stories of science and adventure. To register, visit


Academy Seminar: Virtual Fossil Field Trip

Friday, Oct. 23, Noon 

Zoom, Free with registration  

Academy paleontologist Katy Estes-Smargiassi takes her virtual audience on an exploration of the unique fossils of California’s Kettleman Hills. Using cutting-edge GigaPan photography, she will talk about the geology and paleontology of the area, and participants can ask her questions. To register, visit


Paleo Playdate 

Saturday, Oct. 24, 10 a.m. 

Zoom, Free with registration  

Academy mascot Eddie the T. rex and young dinosaur fans can join in for story time and a discussion with an Academy paleontologist. Paleo Playdate was developed for preschoolers and their families, but everyone is welcome to join this fun discussion led by the children. To register, visit



Sunday, Oct. 25, 11 a.m. 

Zoom, free with registration

An academy educator encourages participation while she demonstrates how to build a dinosaur using clay or similar material. Viewers will learn how dinosaurs were perfectly adapted to their environments and how their anatomy helped them survive or doomed them to extinction.