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University of Iowa News Release

Feb. 27, 2006

'Fossil Guy,' 'Art! It's Natural' Return To Museum Of Natural History

Animals that bite, fight, tweet and eat (sometimes things that are pretty gross) will take center stage when the University of Iowa Museum of Natural History's popular "Fossil Guy" and "Art! It's Natural" series of lectures and classes return this spring.

The theme for this year's "Art! It's Natural" classes, which run five consecutive Sundays from 3 to 4:30 p.m. beginning March 19, is "What Creatures Eat!" The classes are aimed at children in first through third grades, and each day children will complete a project to bring home. Museum staff member Twyla Bloxham and museum volunteer Alicia Carradus will teach the classes.

The cost for the art classes is $30 total per child for all five classes, and class size is limited to 15 students. Children should gather in the museum's Iowa Hall lobby prior to the start of each class.

The "Art! It's Natural" schedule follows:

* March 19: sculpting omnivores out of clay

* March 26: creating herbivore puppets

* April 2: drawing carnivores with crayon and watercolors

* April 9: designing shadow boxes showing scavengers

* April 16: making a collage of animals that consume the waste of other animals

The "Fossil Guy" lectures, featuring amateur paleontologist and UI staff member Donald F. Johnson, run four consecutive Saturdays beginning March 25 and are free and open to the public. Two presentations will be offered each day of the series, one at 2 p.m. and one at 3 p.m., in the Macbride Hall Auditorium. Although the classes are geared toward children, people of all ages are invited.

Johnson uses fossils, replicas, and other visuals from his vast personal collection to illustrate each subject.

The "Fossil Guy" schedule follows:

* March 25: Sabertooth Cats and Their Prey: Mammals of the Pleistocene Age

* April 1: The Complete Dinosaur: Duckbills, Tyrannosaurs and Tweety Bird?

* April 8: Survivor Among the Mammals: Fossils from the White River Badlands

* April 15: The Best of the Rest of 'Fossil Guy': Prehistoric Sharks, Insects in Amber, Microfossils, and More

For more information on either series, call the museum at 319-335-0480 or email Sarah Horgen, MNH education and outreach coordinator, at

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500.

MEDIA CONTACT: Stephen Pradarelli, 319-384-0007,