Fossil Tortoise Exhibit Grand Opening

10/14/2017, 10:00 AM to 11:00 AM

Heard Natural Science Museum & Wildlife Sanctuary map


On October 14, at 10 a.m., meet two fossil tortoises that were discovered by Jim Caddell in July of 1994 in the Northwest corner of Nebraska in a region known as the Nebraska Badlands.

About the Fossils

Referred to informally as “Tootsie” and “Peanut,” these tortoises are Stylemys nebrascensis. While this species is similar in some ways to modern tortoises, it lacked foreleg musculature for digging tunnels. These fossils are 34 million years old. Fossils from this species are regularly found in the South Dakota/Nebraska Badlands. Jim Caddell donated these specimens to the Heard in June of 2013. Preparation for displaying these fossils began in the lab in October 2013. After four years and more than 5,000 volunteer hours, they are ready for the museum floor.

This event is included in general admission and free for Heard Museum Members.