SPOKANE, Wash.—Wednesday was probably a holiday not many people have heard of, but it totally rocks.
October 11, 2017 was National Fossil day. The holiday was part of a bigger celebration called “earth science week.”
The holiday started seven years ago when the National Park Service wanted to promote the appreciation of fossils and celebrate paleontology.
Gonzaga hosted its very own event to celebrate the fossils found in the Inland Northwest.
Biologist John Orcutt said he has been hunting fossils since he was a kid.
He said what’s amazing is looking at some of the creatures that used to roam around the region, like giant sloths.
“Giant ground sloths like you mentioned may be the most spectacular. If you can imagine a cow sized sloth living on the ground. We've got pieces of those that my students found this summer in northeast Oregon,” said Orcutt.
Orcutt said studying fossils is important because looking back at the history of life and ecosystems can show people how much the earth has changed.
Orcutt encouraged people to go out and explore the Inland Northwest for fossils themselves.
There are places in the state where it can be illegal to take fossils without a permit, so make sure if you are heading out the site has been preapproved.