MuseumFromHome: Prehistoric Creatures

This week we're travelling back in time over 200 million years to the times when plesiosaurs swam in the warm Jurassic seas that covered this region!

We know what prehistoric creatures lived in & around Ely at this time because of the fossils that we find. You can learn all about fossilisation in this great BBC Bitesize video!

Did you know, that there are lots of different ways fossils can be made?  The most famous type is cast fossils which is how we get the big dinosaur bones you see in museums. These were the bones of an animal which has transformed into rock over millions of years. These are very rare.

A more common fossil to find is an 'impression fossil' & this is an example from the collection at Ely Museum!

Around 100 million years the ammonite in this fossil died and fell to the sandy sea floor. Its body and shell rotted away, but the impression it left on the sea floor remained. Over millions of years that sea floor fossilised which preserved the impression of the creature!

You can learn more about ammonites and their spiral shell in our craft video & make your own fossil too!

Impression fossils can also tell scientists a lot about extinct animals. Sometimes they leave impressions of parts of the animal that don’t normally fossilise. Did you know that it was impressions of feathers in some dinosaur fossils that allowed scientists to learn that many dinosaurs had feathers?

Visit our Facebook page to have fun with our prehistoric themed crafts this week! Have fun as your make your own plesiosaur puppet, a toilet roll belemnite, an ammonite fossil and a massive megalodon!

Download the plesiosaur template hereDownload

Once you've had some fun with the craft activities, explore your house, garden or the park and see if you can complete our prehistoric scavenger hunt too!

Download a PDF of the scavenger hunt hereDownload

Have a go at designing your own prehistoric creature here too! There's lots of things to think about as you decide what it will look like, where it might live and what it might eat...or even, what might eat it!

Download the worksheet here or do it on a plain piece of paperDownload

Finally, why not have a go at our take on our prehistoric version of the traditional game snakes and ladders and play "Plesiosaurs and Belemnites"! Who do you think will win?

Download the game hereDownload

Next week, our #MuseumFromHome post over half-term week will focus on a day of fun and silliness that took place in Ely in 1893!