Aurora Fossil Museum – Aurora, North Carolina
This educational resource was founded in 1976 to increase the knowledge of the geology and paleontology of the coastal plains of North Carolina. The exhibits and outreach programs as well as the field studies give students an opportunity to understand the land on which they live.
The fossil rich soils of this area are filled with the remains of ancient sharks, whales, bony fish, corals, shells and other invertebrates. When you come to the museum bring along a garden trowel or sifter and plastic bags to help with your search for the fossils. You can spend the day collecting "treasures" with the staff and learning all about what you have found.
The Aurora Fossil Museum exhibits range from a Pleistocene Age mastodon tusk to casts of an associated set of Parotodius benedini shark’s teeth. They have a video room which is a mine replica where visitors sit 100 feet underground and learn about the paleontology and geology of the state. One of the favorite displays is a Pleistocene Age walrus skull which is one of the most complete ever found. There is also the rare and unusually complete fossil cetacean skeleton. The medium sized "toothed" whale cruised the ocean between 5 and 23 million years ago and measures nearly 16 feet long. Because of the shape, nasal shape and homodont dentition it is indicated that this fossil was a relative of the modern dolphins.
The North Carolina Archaeology room features a comprehensive collection of projectile points, stone tools, jewelry and cooking implements of Native Americans from Eastern North Carolina. Murals depict the habitation of North Carolina from the Stone Age to the arrival of Europeans.
The museum welcomes school groups. Schedule your group of 10 or more in advance of a visit so they will be prepared to help the students learn the most they can while there. Their presentation includes an exhibit of local fossils, free fossil material and educational resources suitable for grades 3 – 8.
Hours of operation:
Monday through Saturday, 9 am until 4:30 pm. In addition to regular hours, from March 1st through Labor Day, the museum will also be open on Sunday from 12:30 pm to 4:30 pm. The fossil Pit of the Pungo will remain open for collecting from sun-up to sun-down. Admission is free but donations are gladly accepted. Ample free parking is provided.
Location: 400 MAIN STREET; P.O. BOX 352; AURORA, NC 27806-0352
TELEPHONE: (252)322-4238 FAX: (252) 322-2220